Author: theaakvik

Hills Like White Elephants

The short story “Hills Like White Elephants” is written by Ernest Hemingway. The story takes place in Spain, between Barcelona and Madrid. At a train station where we meet a man and a girl. “Hills Like White Elephants,” tells the story of a man and a woman drinking beer and anise liqueur while they wait at a train station in Spain. The man is attempting to convince the woman to get an abortion.

Throughout the story, it is clear that the man would like the woman to get an operation, which he describes as “awfully simple,” “perfectly simple” and “not really an operation at all.” He promises to stay with her the whole time and promises that they’ll be happy afterward because “that’s the only thing that bothers us.”

The girl does not seem to be sure of this suggestion. But she loves the man, and if that is what it takes for them to happy, she probably would go through with the abortion. But she is asking him if he really wants to. He answers that he is perfectly fine with her going through with it if it means something to her. He is indicating if he means anything to her. It is an awfully hard decision, and he is completely clear that he doesn’t want a baby.

The origin of the phrase is commonly traced to a practice in Siam (now Thailand) in which a king would bestow the gift of a white elephant on a member of his court who displeased him. The white elephant was considered sacred, so on the surface, this gift was an honor. However, maintaining the elephant would be so expensive as to ruin the recipient. Hence, a white elephant is a burden.


American History X

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The movie “American History X” was mainly about two brothers and their racist views. The older brother killed two “black people”, and went to jail, the little brother followed his brother’s footsteps and continued his “amazing” views and propaganda. The older brother learns from his mistake and when he got out tried to make everything okay. But if he would succeed was another question when your whole life revolves around racism and racist propaganda.

What we learned from this movie is that hate is never the answer, it only makes it worse. We can’t be blind and just decide that a whole race or non-whites are better, because it will only lead to sadness like shown in the movie. This movie is really important for kids/teenagers to watch. Like these boys, many people are vulnerable and wants to blame others, and it is important to learn that we should all be equally excepted, we all have baggage, we just have to accept it. This movie is definitely worth watching, you learn a lot from it and can take that experience with you throughout life.

Dosmetic migrant workers

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In class today we got a task to compare a story with some statistics about domestic migrant workers.

Fatou’s story is kind of heartbreaking because she reads in a magazine about someone who is living as a slave. She does not call herself a slave, but she thinks she is not because she does not have it as bad as this “slave” she read about. She is allowed to leave her employers premises, but she is not paid has and not seen her passport since she arrived. So, she is completely stuck in this job, because even if she leaves, she has no money or even a passport she can use to “get away”. She might not look at herself as a slave, but the workers do because she is easy to manipulate and has fooled her completely to become a domestic migrant worker. There are so many migrant domestic workers shown in the global estimate of the stock of migrant. 11,5 million workers are domestic migrant workers, they are often fooled into a good life, some might lose all rights and might not be able to leave their so-called “job”. They are living under bad conditions and are mostly looked upon as “slaves”. There are so many people like Fatou, believing that people want them good, even if they are actually are being used and have no chance to actually leave and be free again. So imagine 11,5 million people being used daily, and most of them women.


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Task 8

a) There are over 520 languages spoken in Nigeria. The most commonly spoken language of Nigeria, English, the former colonial language, was chosen due to the contrast of cultural and linguistics forced through drawn borders facilitated under the Berlin Conference. Communication in the English language is much more popular in the country’s urban communities than it is in the rural areas due to colonization.

b) The American roommate’s story was incomplete because she only had one picture of how all Africans were, she thought they were bad at English, could not use the stove, listened to tribal music and were very poor. The balanced view is in a middle-class family, her father was a professor and her mother was an administrator. She had spoken English her whole life and had a pretty “normal” life.

c) What she meant by the phrase: “her default position toward me, as an African?” is that she has in mind what all Africans are like. People who have never been there had through stories or media felt sorry for them.People are very prejudice when it comes to Africans. Why American people have this view of Africans is through media, books, and movies, showing how poor they are in comparison. They make a view without even experiencing Africa itself.

d) What she means is that stories can be used in both a positive and negative way; that you can either stop the prejudice that was created by them, or you can create even stronger issues. All of that depends on how you tell and interpret these stories.

e) Yes, because when people think of volunteering, they think that they are the white blue eyed strong rich saviors that can solve their problem easily. But without knowledge and training to be volunteers, you just end up taking pictures to show your own wonderfulness. Nigerians are not helpless and when other people just travel there to take pictures of themselves, they are just making themselves into tourists, actually not doing a difference.


Life below water

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Today we discussed the UN’s goal number 14 – life below water. We read an article about ocean pollution and watched a documentary about how the plastic is affecting the whales. 

    1. Discuss the problems life below water is currently facing.

We are just now discovering how much plastic is affecting the ocean. There is so much plastic in the ocean and it affects mostly the fishes and sea animals. The animals are often mistaking the plastic as food. Many animals, like the whales, are dying. It is not just the plastic that is polluting the ocean, oil spills, factories, chemical spills, cars, and trucks are some other examples. Even things like toothpaste and soap are polluting the ocean, tiny pieces of plastic, microplastic, is all over our everyday products. The microplastic is eaten by the fish, and we eat the fish, so I do not think this is healthy for either of us.  It is estimated that if we don’t take action now, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.


  2. Reflect on the impact this documentary had on you

I am completely shocked, there were so many emotions in this documentary. It is our fault that the whales are slowly dying of pollution. The sea animals are supposed to trust us, we were supposed to take care of them and the environment. We failed, and now we have to take action before the sea is filled with plastic and other trash.

The whales are graceful and beautiful creatures. To see the “plastic whale” suffer like that was so heartbreaking. The only good thing about the discovery of the “plastic whale”, was that the world actually noticed and hit the alarm button, that we have to do something. Like they did in this documentary, gathering volunteers, to help clean the ocean.


3. Do you think it will help the oceans that we put more focus on this problem? 

Yes, I do actually believe that if we put more focus on this problem it might save the oceans. After the findings of plastic bags in the “plastic whale”, people started to notice the great damage the pollution is causing. Many researchers have now focused more on how to clean the ocean, stores are currently talking about switching out the plastic bags with other environmental bags and we are gathering volunteers to help clean shores of plastic before they disappear back in the ocean. The discovery of the whale was a wakeup call for many and has been since February in 2017.


4. Finally, what are you most likely to do in order to preserve our oceans, and what do you think others should do?

My family has always been strict on recycling, telling me to never throw garbage out in nature. Because why pollute the environment when there is a trash bin not so far away?My dad has always been an enthusiast on cleaning up trash, he always brings a bag to pick up garbage almost everywhere.

I, myself will continue as my father cleaning our nature. I will as well choose products that can be recycled and that does not contain microplastic or other environmentally harmful chemicals. Others should as well think about what our everyday products contain and hopefully recycle everything. An improvement for our school could have been different recycling bins.



Ocean pollution

The plastic whale



I am a survivor of high school.

Back in the days, the opportunities were minimum, but the opportunities today are endless. I know what I like, but I don’t know what I want. Growing up in Skodje, a small town, I have found my interests and hobbies. I like singing and working out at the gym and would always like to be surrounded by friends and family. I am a positive girl and I’m always searching for new things to try. I am hard working and can’t ever leave something unfinished. I am currently a student at Fagerlia High School in Ålesund and I attend the international study program. I have been on two different exchange periods and have experienced how to adapt to new countries and learned about different cultures. I have great knowledge of how to interact with different people and I find that one of my best features. I love talking, I always have, I would call myself an extrovert.

One of the jobs I have taken interest in lately is marketing, I think it’s interesting, but do I want to live by marketing the rest of my life, the thought is scary. There is so much to choose from, there is a high possibility that I will choose something different because interests may change over time. But my biggest goal in life is to succeed in whatever job I choose in the end. And that is the reason why I would like to continue studying to become better and learn more about what I want than what I like.

I have my advantages and disadvantages. In school, I’m always the overachiever, some subjects are better than others. I always live up to the expectations and do my best. My advantages overcome my disadvantages. I have a strong voice and I’m not afraid to say what’s on my mind.



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We watched the movie “Spotlight” in class this week. I am going to answer two question from a worksheet I got and sum up briefly what I learned from this film. And also conclude how I liked/disliked it.

6. What is the main conflict and how is it resolved?

The film follows the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team. “Spotlight” is the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States. They start off by investigating a small case of a priest molesting a lot of children. But the investigation is bigger than they thought, there was not only one priest. So the movie’s main conflict is about investigating cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priest. The way this case was resolved was by finding evidence and talking to victims, getting hold of documents that reveal that this has been an issue before, but never taken seriously, because nobody wants to go against the church. But by trying to publicise the findings, people will open their eyes and actually do something about it for a change.

9. Describe a lesson from this movie that viewers can apply to their own lives.

When you are having trouble deciding what position to take on an issue of public concern you have to think and make your own decision. There are so many people out there trying to hide an issue from the public because it will affect them in a bad way. This movie thought me that even though it might make you lose faith in something as strong as religious belief, you should do what is right for the public concern. There can be a lot of good sides in a person, but if that person got a big rotten apple, that rotten apple might hurt people, make them suffer, or even make them suicidal, it’s a big issue. It is better to speak up and share it, it might lead to a better communication between people because people will finally know the truth, remember it and learn right from wrong.

When it comes to deciding what position to take in relation to family and friends it can be very tricky. The only woman in the spotlight team had trouble with her family because her “nana”, was very religious, they stopped having a close bond, but she still went on publishing the story. If I were in a position of stopping people ruining/ killing innocent lives or keeping a close bond with my family I would choose the first one. A family is close, and you love them, but sometimes you can’t take their side if something big is going on and you have a way to stop it. You might ruin the bond forever, but knowing that you did the right thing, should make you feel proud. You can’t always depend on their support all the way through life. That may not be easy, but if your strong your family and friends might understand later in life that you actually made a change for the better.

#Metoo is a campaign that we relate to after watching this movie. The “Me Too” movement spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. It followed soon after the public revelations of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. It started out with one person being accused of like in the movie,  but little did they know that this campaign would help a lot of people coming out about other events. This campaign has probably saved a lot of lives, people lived their lives after a molesting or sexualization that it’s their fault, that people who have more power can just do whatever they like. We have known about this, but kept silenced, because it’s an event that you want to hide because you don’t want to make a scene, you overthink and might end up with thinking it was all your fault. But like in the movie this is a public concern and this can’t keep happening. Me too is helping a lot of women and men talk about uncomfortable situations that they could not help prevent. And the society is opening their eyes and finally speaing openly about this theme. By speaking up people gather together, they share events that they never thought of sharing, speak to other victims and learn that they did nothing wrong, the society did something wrong, and this has now made this campaign a beginning of a new time, where people will be heard and believed. This is actually saving lives, and it’s important for everyone to know about.

What I learned from the movie was that we can make drastic changes by just acknowledging the problem. I really liked this movie because it made me believe that publicity is one of the best resources we have. The news is an important part of our daily lives. If we read the news daily, we will find out what is happening around the world. We can’t live a life without acknowledging that our world is not perfect, but we can make it better by slowly changing it. The movie has a strong meaning behind it, not just for the victims of the church, but for everyone in the world who has been exposed to uncomfortable situations. The movie was great because every viewer can relate in one way or another to a situation similar to this.