Snigdha in Copenhagen

Snigdha is a junior biology major, minoring in chemistry and math, in Dedman College. In Fall 2009, she is participating in the Medical Practice and Policy Program at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad through SMU-in-Copenhagen.

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Field trip to the zoo

Like Waldo, I can be difficult to find. Unlike Waldo, I am short, brown and have a knack for hiding while I try to study and write papers.

At SMU, I would usually hide out in Fondren in the science section or the basement (anywhere really that was out of the way and with wide tables).

In Copenhagen it’s been a little bit more difficult than a quick stroll over to Fondren. Now I am hiding out at Panum Institute (affiliated with University of Kobenhaven and the medical school), which also has wide tables and because I know nobody there (except my cancer bio classmates, because that is where our class is held).

It is huge (with a good cafeteria) and pretty quiet. It’s a great place for me to write a research paper and presentation, write a Russian lit paper, study for three tests and tutor without getting a million interruptions.

Animal behavior

CIMG0160.jpg Last weekend we went to the Odense Zoo and Fjord & Baelt (which is a research facility for marine biology) to observe sea lions (and their pups!), harbor porpoises (and their calf!), manatees (and their several calves!) and harbor seals (no pups for them).

CIMG0236.jpg It was great to see current research on these animals and how their trainers taught them to do tricks, feed and play with each other. Although it was a long day, I really enjoyed the trip, and I think it really helped me to visualize animal behavior and movement (which we had a test on, so that really helped!).

It was also interesting to see the cultural aspect of zoos. While in the US we don’t really consider pelicans to be “exotic” (being from Louisiana I see huge flocks of them over the summer, so I bet many people in the Gulf Coast area see them frequently), but in Denmark that was one of the most popular exhibits (along with the universally popular “primate house,” lion and tiger areas and the flamingo ponds). There was also a Legoland trip that was a LOT of fun, and my inner nerd child loved it.

Under the weather

So yes, it’s been a busy two weeks for me. I also got sick recently with something that apparently everyone in our house has. There is the constant chorus of coughing and honks from blowing our noses as well as frequent complaints of fevers. I was lucky and got better within 24 hours, but while I called the doctor’s office to set up an appointment (which I cancelled once my fever broke) I realized that there are no pictures on the CPR card.

Which made me wonder, why aren’t there ID photos on these cards? Couldn’t someone steal your card and use it? In the US we have several forms of ID to establish identity and legal status (try applying for a job?) and people are usually VERY careful with these documents.

And I thought about it more (while lying in bed, because naturally one would debate these things just before bed) and finally decided, yes it’s possible. But consider that you get free health care and education with this card (not money or credit cards) and that the government is perfectly willing to give any legal person in Denmark. That’s the catch though, legal.

So if the US were going to have any sort of “universal health care,” I am sure the majority of the population would want it to include only legal residents and immigrants. Therefore we would leave a portion of the population (illegal immigrants) uncared for. And that opens up another can of political worms. At this point I decided it was time to sleep.

Travel break next week! I am so excited!! Maybe this means I should learn about the health care of France, Spain and Italy in my spare time?

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