Thursday, December 07, 2006

Norwegian Rednecks

OK, maybe that is not a fair characterization, but I am annoyed by how the conservative party's anti-immigration policies are affecting me personally. I am legally required by law to take 120 hours of Norwegian language classes. I dutifully applied to take classes a year ago. I have a three year window to complete this requirement. At the time I was told there were no advanced evening classes, and that beginner classes would be a waste of time for me. In other words, there are no classes available, and already a year is burned up.

During the past year, I left messages at the school, but received no reply. The other day I finally sent a letter, including documentation of 126 hours of classes I had taken in Minneapolis. I finally received a call from the man in charge of the school. He apologized for not getting back to me earlier, and said that nothing had changed. They had no qualified teachers to teach advanced classes, and no evening courses available.

This situation is absurd. I believe that I am rather well integrated. I do not live in an English-speaking cloister. I have no friends from the UK or US that I hang out with. I am very gainfully employed. I travel much for work, making classes somewhat inconvenient. With a baby due any day, it will be downright difficult to spend four extra hours per week outside the home. I gave the man my bottom line: I was only interested in meeting my legal obligation. He offered that I could take an oral and written test to meet this requirement. I will have to give it a try. It still doesn't change the principle at hand. Even the US draconian immigration policies are not this strict. I am not even part of the target demographic group-- I am married to a Norwegian. If you ask me, I am doing just fine. But that doesn't mean my Norwegian spelling and grammar are any good.

No comments: