Top 5 things I miss about America

I recently went home to my beloved Chicago to celebrate my birthday and was immediately reminded of all that I missed about America.

Sweet home, Chicago. (Photo by JH)

I had a few free hours after sleeping off my jet lag and instead of exploring my city, getting a manipedi, or catching up with friends, I spent it sitting at Starbucks, writing and watching. Honestly, I couldn’t have been happier. Everyone around me was speaking English (and American English at that!) I had small talk Read more ...

The Divided States of America: I’m inspired and afraid

Each day I sit down at my laptop and begin to write. There’s so much to discuss, so much has happened, but each day there’s a new political bombshell. Like many of you, I start each day wondering what’s next America?

Obviously, I’m talking about the President of the United States who has been in office for less than two weeks. In that time, presidential orders have been made to ban immigrants from a country founded by immigrants, to build a $40 billion wall, restricting … Read more ...

Saying Goodbye to President Obama

Barack Obama is no longer the president of the United States. That sentence carries a disquieting and heavy truth for many Americans.

While putting my 9-year-old to bed last night, I thought it fitting to read one of our children’s books about Obama. It’s “Barack Obama Son of Promise, Child of Hope” by Nikki Grimes. It tells Obama’s life story, touching on his experiences that are familiar to us: His roots in Kansas, his biracial background, and his time in Chicago.

In the wake of Trump, Norwegians still give me their condolences

Unlike my friends in the US, it’s easy for me to watch the news and not be bombarded with Donald Trump, his political appointments and latest shenanigans. Living in Norway, I still follow it all closely online, but I’m not overwhelmed by it on TV, social media, or in cafes and shops.

It wasn’t always like that. Right after the elections, even across the pond, I felt overwhelmed by the incessant chatter: How did Trump win? Was it a mistake? What were Americans thinking!?!?

And Read more ...

Living in Norway: The adventure of learning Norwegian

I’ve always liked learning new things and part of me was excited to go back to school. I’m in Norwegian language courses, or as they call it “norskkurs” (NORSHK’ koosh).

My first class was in a small suburb of Oslo and I was struck by how many people from different countries were there. We had students from Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and two Americans. The other American was a sweet chic from Minnesota. (Hi L!)

My first day of Norwegian class.

My first day of Norwegian class.

I’ve had … Read more ...