Ok, I’m not actually enrolled in a program nor do I plan to stick around long enough to actually earn my degree here, but I’ve finally started what is more easily defined as a ‘completely transferable exchange semester of my own design’ at Copenhagen Business School.
And it’s awesome! Even though registering for classes here presented every setback imaginable, I’m glad I pushed through all piles of BS from immigration and the useless administration people at CBS until I finally got myself into a classroom. Persistence has never been my strong suit, but hopefully, learning how to deal with the more bitchy Danes and all the ATTITUDE (!!) will help me get things done faster when I’m back home.
BUT NOW, I finally have a class schedule. I’ve been excited to take these classes since hearing about them in September, just to give my brain some focus. The International Relations program at Davis was basically just for people who couldn’t decide between seven different majors, I’ve always had multiple jobs… basically, I’ve rarely been able to find one thing that I felt could keep my interest on multiple levels. I called it indecisiveness, my professors called it creativity.
Copenhagen is an amazing city for people with any strain of creativity. The courses within the Creative Business Processes program seem to cultivate that, providing the tools for students to funnel all of their artsy intellect into something innovative and marketable. From my perspective, it fuses what I am good at with what I want to be good at. I think it’ll work out. I’ve never heard of classes like these anywhere else. And after a week, it seems that most of the students feel similarly; they come from all over Europe (with just one from Canada and another from the United States) with the complaint that their own respective business schools don’t offer anything like what’s provided at CBS.
Anyway, I’m taking two courses. I’d take more, but as I’m already taking out a loan from my parents to pay for the courses (THANK YOU mom and dad, again!!) it’s hardly financially feasible. Really nothing I’ve done over the past five months can be considered financially feasible, but, whatever.
This course is going to go through what aesthetics are, who produces the theoretical framework to decide what is art and what isn’t, and from there, how to manage the art (whatever form it is) in the context of that theoretical framework. My case study for this class is going to be Mikkeller Brewery. So, two amazing things happened in this class: one, the theories on the democratization of culture vs. cultural democracy all made complete sense to me thanks to some of the hipster classes I took at Davis (thank you Dr. Andy) and two, my professor publicly and 100% seriously agreed with me that beer is art.
Applied Creativity in Design Thinking
This class is more appropriately titled Neurobiology of Creativity. Cue the mindblow- it is designed to teach us how creativity works, so that at the end of the course, you will be more creative. The professors (disclaimer: they are sexy) insist that no individual is more creative than the other, there are just individuals that are more used to being creative than others. We took a creativity test today, where we were told to list alternative uses for common household objects. Our score is supposed to increase significantly when we take it again in two months. Until then, we’re serving as consultants for a Coloplast, a Danish medical device/services company, working on real solutions for real problems we have yet to find out.
But other than the rave reviews this class has gotten and the promising curriculum it offers, it is also taught in the most unusual sort of classroom I’ve ever been in. It’s called the CBS Studio, but it’s really a villa, but a villa that looks like a think tank!! I thought I had to be in the wrong place when I got to class today. First, I parked my bike in front of this house, an anomaly among all the future-buildings that the CBS campus is composed of. Then, inside, there’s a kitchen, stocked with cold bottled water and (best part) bottomless coffee. The walls are all done in whiteboard paint so you can draw all over them, there are baskets stocked with bright-colored post-it notes, multiple couches and squishy chairs, and gigantic glass windows. It’s my dream office, basically what I’d imagine working at Google would be like.
Here’s what it looks like from the street:
The lecture was given in this conservatory-like section with just regular chairs in a row… no desks here. Apparently, when classes are taught in the studio, they get free reign of the entire thing, so that the class can get up and move around and take smoke breaks on the patio and such. The first thing we did to break the ice was scream at the top of our lungs to get any residual first-day awkwardness out of the way, letting the sound travel around off the whiteboard walls and out the windows. Gonna be a cool class.
Other than classes, lots to look forward to- Wondercool, a month-long culture event with food/art/music/design happenings every day is in full swing, the winter series of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival is on, Ryan is coming to Copenhagen before he goes back home to the States (and to Mexican food…), and Chinese New Year is on Sunday. We gonna make dumplings!!!!