There is not truly bad weather, just bad clothes.— Helen Russell
Most of my time in Denmark so far has been spent in Vestergade 23 (or V23), the hub of DIS in Copenhagen. While DIS is technically spread out among several separate buildings and streets, the library, some student lounges, and many classrooms are located on one of the six floors of this building. I happen to have all but one of my classes here, so I’ve become quite acquainted with it over the last few months and it has become like a second home away from home for me. Though I’ve tried working in other buildings, some things just keep pulling me back to V23.
We all find our own nooks in different places. At DIS, my nook has been the game lounge on the third floor. Tucked away behind two sets of doors and equipped with a computer lab, couches, several TVs, and four different game consoles, it is a rarely occupied space that lends itself to many different experiences. Because it has very nice natural light, I often spend time just doing work in the room (it’s where many of these blog posts have been written). Beyond work, I also enjoy hanging out with people there. We’ve messed around with games on the computer, tried out the virtual reality (VR) system, and also just sat around and talked. And though I haven’t tried it (yet), some people come here to take naps.
The game room is what I would call my chill space. If I ever need to escape life for a little while or decompress after a class I can go there to relax—and that’s important. I think all students need a space in their academic lives where they can feel totally at home. Back in the states, that space was the top floor of the science building on my campus. I would go there anytime I was feeling overwhelmed or needed a place to concentrate. The game room in V23 has fulfilled that roll for me.
While I truly enjoy working in V23, there have been some things I’ve needed to get used to at DIS. One of those things was the fact that we are going to classes in the city. What shocked me most about coming here was finding out that DIS doesn’t really have a campus. Aside from the blue and black street signs marking DIS buildings, the school is integrated into the city landscape. Coming from a small but sprawling college, I was quick to notice some of the other differences.
To start, it feels like almost every door in the building has a scanner to open it. After swiping into the building and then again to get onto a specific floor, I have to remember to bring my wallet if I leave one of my classrooms because there are two sets of scanners between me and the bathroom. I understand that this is probably for security reasons but it’s been a weird change to get used to from the relative openness of my college back home, where the only scanners are to get into dormitories.
Another thing I’ve noticed at DIS is the lack of musical practice rooms. Because I’ve never lived in a city before, I’m assuming that I don’t really understand the real lack of space, but one thing I always enjoyed at college in the US was wasting away some time messing around on a piano. Instead I’ve adapted to singing (softly) in the shower and on my bike rides (which is a very good workout).
The last and funniest difference I’ve notice about DIS is the plethora of stairs. Because city space is so limited, everything is built up and in DIS, where elevators are few and far between, most everyone has to take the stairs. I find this amusing because most people come into class quite winded, as they’ve traversed upwards of eighty stairs to get there.
While coming to DIS has involved some adaptation of my usual academic routines, it has also showed me some of the many benefits of urban schools. DIS offers immediate access to the city and with this comes a multitude of places to explore and study outside of academic buildings. I have a few places that I love to frequent and many more on my list of places to visit. I’m so happy that I have gotten a chance to try out school in Copenhagen and I look forward to spending the rest of the semester here.
One reply on “9 – V23”
Each read provides such a personal glimpse… thank you so much for sharing so generously.. another 2 thumbs up!