Another exciting week in Dublin! A bunch of students from the apartment complex we are living at went on a walking tour of Trinity College and the Temple Bar District. It was really cool to meet new people from all over the place like Canada and France to name a few. Trinity College is a short walk from where I am living, and the architectural style is simply something to marvel at. The college was strictly Protestant for many years dating back to Queen Elizabeth I, and only started admitting other students in the late 1700s around. That’s about all I’ve got off the top of my head. I’m only starting to learn about Irish history and am certainly not the most passionate history buff you’ll find, so refer to Wikipedia for more info.
Our first week of classes was largely an adjustment to the Irish/European way of life: style of schooling, grading, workplace environments and the like. A few highlights I remembered to jot down before they left my scattered brain came from my internship class—yes, we go to our placement and have a debriefing class every week—with the very knowledgeable Dr. Darren Kelly.
“What are those highlights, Logan?” Those of you who are still actually reading and not just scrolling through the pictures may ask. Well, I’m happy to answer you, dear reader! Dr. Kelly told our class that there is one significant difference in the life of Irish people and American people. We Americans know the phrase “time is money” all too well. What he said was, “To Americans, time is money. To Irish people, time is valuable.” Essentially, there is just a difference in how things get done. Everyone likes to work smarter not harder (although I may fall into the opposite category), but it works out differently in the two countries. In America, that typically means a “go, go, go” mentality where you do as much work as you can, as fast as you can get it done. In Ireland, it could mean having a half hour chat over tea with co-workers during the day to refresh your mind before returning to a task. But, the work must still get done. These are, of course, vast generalities, but it will be interesting to note the differences in the work culture here when I begin my internship at the Charities Institute of Ireland.
Another highlight was certainly my trip to the National Museum of Ireland with my fine arts class. We got to explore many artifacts from the Irish Golden Age, etc. What stood out to me was the “Bog Body” exhibit. Bodies that had been discovered were preserved over an extremely long period of time due to the pH levels of the bogs. The skin was still preserved, with a leather-like appearance. You could even see almost a full head of hair on one of them. While I see the historical value in the bodies, I personally don’t agree with displaying human remains in a museum.
Anyways, I’ve been a bit bogged down with work and away from the craic (pronounced crack), as the Irish say. Note, that’s NOT a good thing. I want to be around the craic. I constantly ask my student life manager where the craic is at. I need some craic in my life. I have, however, not resorted to any frozen foods or boxed foods in my time here so far! I have cooked almost all of my meals and am still very mediocre. At least the food is healthy! I’ve already noticed more energy, confidence, and all the other good stuff that comes with eating well. Not to mention over here in the small but mighty island of Ireland, you can get two weeks-worth of food for a little over 50 euro (~ $60): meat, veggies and all.
What else have I been up to? A few pubs, dinners, and just general craic with my roommates and new friends from Champlain. Did I mention Karaoke yet? No? Well, just imagine 30 something American college students at a pub called Woolshed just north of the Liffey, with a fun-poking Irish DJ and discounted drinks. It was an excellent time, and I took an obligatory selfie. The DSLR did NOT come with me for the occasion. Much to the relief of many, I’m sure. There were also Irish immigration appointments for most Champlain students (RIP Mike and Hannah).
I closed out my second week by going vegan for a day, which ended on two very high notes. The first was a dinner to a small but excellent restaurant off of Dame Street called Aperitivo. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, but everything was bang on in the taste department. They were having a special for the Vegan Festival Dublin was having over the weekend: a three-course meal for 20 euro. Not too bad. My appetizer was a bruschetta with veggies and vegan cheese (so good and gooey). My main course was a spicy vegan burger, and my dessert was vegan tiramisu which was also my first tiramisu ever. Bomb dot com. The second was that THE PATS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL, BABY!
Anyways, thanks for checking in. I hope to have more exciting stories to tell from week three! Cheers. Also, Pat Burke: Yes Grafton Street is awesome, as well as St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. Go Wolves.