Election Week! #365MEBA

Hei alle sammen!

So, remember last Sunday’s post when I said next week would be crazy? Yea, well I might have not realized just how crazy it would be. Seriously, what a week! So much to tell!! (Sorry this post might be a little long)

Ok, so first things first: Monday morning Leo and I met to practice our presentation for the electricity class at noon. I first met Leo during the first week of the semester and over the last couple months we became really good friends. Given that we’re both interested in writing our thesis next semester about a topic related to electricity, we decided to pair up and do it together. So Monday’s presentation was the first of many times of working together in the next year, and it couldn’t have gone better. While I still don’t completely understand the professor’s grading scheme or what she looks for, she apparently liked our presentation well enough to give us an A 🙂 The curve of the class ended up being: 3 groups got an A, the rest all Bs, which in my opinion doesn’t make much sense. I personally saw 5 other presentations, and I would have never graded them all equal.

Here’s a picture of our exhausted faces after we finished presenting!

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And then later in the week, I found out I got 2 Bs for my programming assignments, which also kinda annoyed me because of how much work we put into it, but oh well…

Now for the fun stuff: Like I mentioned in one of my earlier posts the student groups here are super active, and everyone is involved in a million clubs. At the beginning of every semester you can apply to join the different clubs, and then once a year (for some clubs twice a year) there are elections to pick the club’s board members. And when I say elections I mean elections: people take this very seriously.

Anyways, so there’s this one ‘club’ called MEBA; it’s more of a council that represents the international students who’re here for the full time Master program; the council is responsible for the welfare of the students as well as their integration into the school and Norway. The council consists of 6 positions including Leader, Academic Affairs, Treasurer, Social Affairs, Internal Affairs & External Affairs. Early in the semester the former council mentioned that the elections will take place in the fall and that if someone is interested in running for a certain position, they should reach out to them, which I did, and so did a few others. And all of a sudden we were this group of 6 people working together on a campaign to run for the new council. The good thing is we believed we were the only group running and so there was a little less pressure, although we weren’t certain. With all the crazy election rules, noone was allowed to tell anyone that they were running for a specific position until Wednesday of this week when the campaigning begun.

So Tuesday we registered ourselves both for the individual positions as well as a group running together for the elections; we got a confirmation email back saying that we are expected to be in school at 7.30AM on Wednesday morning to get our stand for the campaigning period and that’s when the craziness started.

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One of my favorite pictures used in our campaign

On Wednesday morning around 7.15AM, those of us who lived in the same dorms met in my kitchen to grab the popcorn that we were going to hand out at the stands and walked together the dark rainy route to school. Arriving to the hall where the campaigning was supposed to take place over the next 2.5 days, we realized what it meant when they said Norwegians took this seriously. SO many stands, so many freebies, so many people: while we could only afford popcorn and flyers some of these groups apparently manage to get outside sponsors for their campaign. How crazy is that?

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That’s also when some clubs found out about others who’re running against them: only 3 clubs had competition: one of them being the school’s newspaper which was unexpected because one of the groups running (which also ended up winning) doesn’t have any editorial experience at all. One of my favorite quotes of the week: “Do you have any competition? No? This is like an Egyptian election; I can only vote yes or no!”

On Wednesday night there was a mandatory meeting for all candidates where each group introduces themselves for 2 minutes and answers any questions from the audience. Those with competition go through a 45 minute debate.

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Queuing up to ask question for the debate between the two groups running for the newspaper board.

Honestly, it might have been an interesting time if my Norwegian was any better, but unfortunately it was the most boring thing I’ve done in a very long time. Groups talked about including international students, but yet they spoke in Norwegian the entire time. The meeting started at 5; we thought we’d be done by 7, we didn’t make it on stage until 830 by which time we were dead tired after such a long day at the stands. We left then, and apparently the night went on till midnight.

Thursday was another crazy day at the stands and then we went shopping for the election show (more on that later). Friday morning was the last day at the stands and then we met at 4 to practice for the election show.

So Election Show:

The election show or as it’s called now the Femte Kullshow (5th year show) takes place on Friday night and consists of 3 parts. The first part are dances presented by all graduating master students who have been at NHH for both their bachelor and their master studies (5 years total). The second part are 30 secs dances presented by all candidate groups (including us). The last part is a repetition of the first part of the night with a little less clothes. This show is super famous at NHH and people queue up overnight to get tickets in. As candidates you’re guaranteed a ticket which is awesome, but you’re also expected to perform on stage with the song and theme they provide you.

We were paired with another club and given the theme “Moods of Norway” (a clothing brand) and a 30 seconds clip from the song: “What did the fox say?” (Random Fact: Did you know that guy lives in Bergen?) We ended up wearing checkered shirts, norwegian sweaters and masks and let me tell you we had a blast.

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New MEBA council with some of the old members!

Seriously, it was so much fun, and surprise surprise we ended up winning! While the show was indeed great, I don’t know if I’d queue up overnight next year just to get in. After the show, there was a party in the club in the school’s basement; at around 2AM I was too exhausted to move, and I had lost one of my toms shoes earlier in the night, so I had been dancing in heels for more hours than I thought possible and I decided to call it a night.

But seriously, what a week, what a night, both to be remembered for sure. Cheers to #365MEBA!

Love,

Dom.

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