Learning for life

We proudly present the Education issue


Photo: Colourbox
When we talk about education, we often think about traditional schoolroom settings, but as Editor-in-chief Lori Ann Reinhall points out, learning is a lifelong pursuit, both in and outside of the classroom.

Dear readers and friends,

By the time many of you receive this August issue with its focus on education, summer holidays in Norway will be over, as Norwegian children prepare to return to school toward the end of the month.

And while some of you are still on vacation here in North America, many of you may be thinking about the upcoming school year for your children, grandchildren, and yourselves. Perhaps you are planning to enroll in a Norwegian class, take a continuing education course, or simply immerse yourself in a pile of good books.

Yes, learning is a lifelong experience, as we look for ways to enrich our lives and deepen our understanding of the world. This learning can take place within physical and virtual classrooms, but also out in our communities: in cultural centers, museums, and at special events. Traveling is also a wonderful way of broadening your perspective.

As editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, the most enjoyable aspect of my job is learning more about Norway and our Norwegian-American community and sharing this information with you. Together with my team and other colleagues at Norway House in Minneapolis, we work with all kinds of Norwegian-American entities across North America and in Norway to bring you the most relevant and up-to-date information. As editor, I have enjoyed traveling to meet many of you in person, too.

A Midwest adventure

As you will learn later on in the issue, in June I traveled to Fargo, N.D., where I was invited to speak about our newspaper at the Nordic Culture Clubs’ Scandinavian Festival at the Hjemkomst Center across the Red River from Fargo in Moorhead, Minn. What a fun and educational experience that was!

It was a pleasure to connect with my host, Romayne Kilde of the Nordic Culture Clubs, and to meet Marla Fogderud of the Edvard Grieg Society of the Dakotas. We have all connected virtually prior to my visit, but as I have realized in the past, there is nothing that replaces sitting down together face to face and having a heart-to-heart chat. Many thanks to Romayne, Marla, and others for their warm hospitality. I was also able to make new connections to explore, so there is much to look forward to in upcoming issues.

I also want to thank my colleagues from Minneapolis, Joe Grødahl, director of operations and programs at Norway House, and Kirsti Grødahl, president of Mindekirken, for joining me at Hjemkomst Center, as we worked to promote our organizations with their close cooperation.

Reporting from the West Coast

And then, of course, I am always pleased to send you updates from places closer to my home here in Seattle, and in this issue, we head south to Tacoma, Wash., to learn more about the Scandinavian Cultural Center at Pacific Lutheran University. Over the years, I have attended many enjoyable and educational events there, and I’ve come to appreciate and value the important role these types of venues play in keeping our Nordic culture alive. I urge you to explore what is available to you where you live.

Another special feature comes to us from Gig Harbor, Wash. (not too far from Tacoma), a travelog written by my friend Jerry Pugnetti about his recent trip to Norway. With this article, Jerry and his wife, Wendy, take us on a lesson in World War II history. When I recently ran into Jerry and Wendy at an event here in Seattle, I mentioned how grateful I was that such a skilled and seasoned journalist was willing to contribute to our newspaper. I must add that I feel that way about all of our contributors and my immediate team, who so time after time generously give so much.

Hello, Edvard Grieg!

With this issue, we are also saying goodbye to my “Barneblad” column for a while, as we replace it with some new exciting children’s content from our good friend Bill Halverson of the Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota. In his new series “Happy Notes—Happy Children,” Bill will introduce us to the music and world of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s national composer. I urge you to check it out; for it’s great fun for both young and old alike.

Tusen takk!

Finally, I must say thank you again—tusen takk—to all you, our readers. It is your support that keeps us going. Many of you have already donated to our summer fundraiser, and your generosity is greatly appreciated. With that, I wish you many hours of happy reading, as we proudly present our Education issue.

Lori Ann

This article originally appeared in the August 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.