Today I started the course to get my certification to teach high school in Sweden. It's geared towards people who have already finished their studies in their respective subjects, so the average student in the program is 30+, and most people seem to have some kind of professional experience. However, if we took into account the age of the four "visitors" today, the average age would be lowered significantly. There was a six year old daughter of one of the women in the class who sat patiently drawing while her mother listened to the lecture. This was not a problem. She was a well-behaved little girl who was old enough to know when it was time to sit quietly. However, there were also three, I repeat three, not one, not two, but THREE babies under the age of one who also "participated" in the lecture. They were the most talkative members of the audience. One of them (and of course, it had to be the one sitting directly behind me) fussed throughout the entire lecture, and the class was continually interrupted as one mother or another got up to cradle her infant. My favorite part was really the slurping noises coming from behind as the mother in the last row started nursing her child during
I'm sorry, I know that Sweden is a very child-friendly country, set up in such a way that women are able to combine motherhood and working life, and that's one of the things that I appreciate about living here, but THERE IS A TIME AND A PLACE, and a lecture hall filled with 100 other students is NOT such a time and place. Ever heard of a babysitter?? Either Swedish universities need to set up some kind of childcare facilities on-campus, or leave the kid at home with dad or grandma. Or pay your 16 year-old neighbor 50 SEK an hour to watch the midget.
Maybe I would have a different attitude if I had kids of my own, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. It's obvious that my biological clock hasn't started ticking yet. I really don't mean to be insensitive, but if it's okay to bring your noisy baby to class, maybe next time I'll bring my cat. If the person next to me is allergic to cats?? Too bad! Maybe I'm allergic to babies!!