My favorite picture of the Irish countryside

02 December 2010

How do you not get discouraged with humanity? A friend asked me this awhile back, but I didn't really know what he meant. I think I get it now.
We closed Oxfambooks early today because, in case you didn't know, it's snowing like crazy in Dublin. I walked to the bus stop across the river and arrived around 5:15. I've found that my boots are definitely not waterproof, and trudging through the mud and muck made them quite wet. I was wearing two pairs of socks underneath, but they were completely soaked by the time I got to the bus stop. When the bus finally did come at 6:00, my feet were so cold they absolutely ached. As I sat on the bus - scowling and complaining to myself about my cold, aching feet, I looked out the bus window and saw some trash bags in a doorway. Then I saw the trash bags move. The realization hit me that what I was seeing weren't trash bags at all, but a homeless person under a black blanket, huddled on the threshold of a building. All of a sudden, my cold feet didn't seem so bad. This person was laying on the ground - if his/her whole body felt like my feet. . . I can't even imagine how horrible that would be. While I was slowly thawing on the bus and had a nice warm apartment to go home to, this person was facing 15 more hours of intense, bitter cold with no sun to even pretend to shine. I'm not sure what street we were on, but we were still in the city centre so people were passing by. Not one person walking by even gave the lump on the threshold a glance. Maybe they thought it was trash bags like me. Maybe they did notice and simply rationalized that the person was probably a drunk who deserved laying out in the freezing cold. Either way, no one did anything. Are people really this desensitized to each other? Rather than stopping and helping, we just keep on moving with our ear buds firmly blocking out the outside world - waiting for someone else to step up so we can applaud them. Do people really not care?
And now, after I've pitched my little fit, can I really talk? I didn't get off the bus - I don't know what I would have done if I had. Maybe that's the problem everyone has. They want to do something, but they have no idea how they can help. They drown out the injustice of life with their ipods and mobiles because they don't want to feel that guilt that comes with noticing the unpleasantness that affects someone else's life. If they don't see it, it doesn't happen, right? Maybe that's my problem - I see it.

04 November 2010


I had my first day volunteering at Oxfambooks today! For those of you who don't know, Oxfam is non-profit organization based in Oxford, England. It started during World War II as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief and was geared towards civilians in Greece to help them receive food and medicine. Today, Oxfam works mostly in Africa, working to bring Economic Justice, Essential services (e.g. healthcare and education), basic rights, and gender justice to people in need. They believe that all human beings have the right to: a home, enough to eat and clean water, a way to make a living, education and health care, freedom from violence, and a voice and an identity. There are several versions of Oxfam shops. All of them take donations of gently used goods to resell. The profit then goes towards the organization.
This morning was a really good experience! The bookshop is located on the outskirts of Temple Bar, down the street from Dublin Castle. I didn't do too much today in regards to customers (I'll get trained on the till next week) so I mainly organized books and made sure everything was picked up and looked nice. It was very interesting to see how the shop is run - it is completely dependent on volunteers to function (as are all Oxfam shops). If there's a shop near you, I would highly recommend you looking into their volunteer opportunities! I work in the shop once a week for 4 hours - just goes to show you don't have to have a ton of extra time to make a difference!

"But the greatest love - the love above all loves, even greater than that of a mother - is the tender, passionate, undying love...of one beer drunken slob for another."

02 November 2010


I have decided that Ireland is the best place to be during Halloween. I swear, everyone gets dressed up - and apparently, they all go to McGowan's, too! On Saturday night, I went with my friend Jordan (from Texas) to her friend's house (also from Texas - I've noticed the Americans tend to band together) to meet up with Angela, her boyfriend Niall, and a visiting friend, again, from Texas (I think her name was Jacqueline?) When we got to McGowan's, we thought it was a hopeless cause as it was already past midnight and the line was insanely long. Insert another VIP moment :) Niall knows someone who works at the pub so we got let in first! Woot! But, as I stated before, everybody was there so breathing room was a little on the tight side. We had an awesome time - all in all, a very good Halloween!

"Now, just like alcoholism and Catholic guilt, the Irish brought [Halloween] traditions to America with them around 1846 due to the big famine we still bring up when we want to shout at the British." Full article:

22 October 2010


I finally registered with immigration! It took me 3 visits to finally get one of the coveted appointment tickets (evidently third time's a charm!) The Garda are the police in Ireland, and immigrants must register with them within a month of arriving in Ireland (I had to do this last time I studied here as well). Unfortunately, to get a ticket one must begin lining up as early as 2am. I think the basic plan for most people is to go out and drink, then when the bar closes, go stand in line at the Garda. Ridiculous. I got there at 7:15am and was one of the last ones to get a ticket. I then was told to come back around 4:45. . . I finally was called up at 7:00. Then, I didn't actually get my card until about 8:00. Talk about a loooong day!

On a happier note: My best friend from high school had her baby! Ruth Anne Virginia Taylor was born 20 October. It's so weird to think about how far Ashley and I have come since we met in high school. Her goal in life was to be a mom, mine was to live in Europe. When we met, these were just dreams and now they're reality. It's very strange to think about dreams coming to reality. . . I still have moments when I'm walking down O'Connell Street or sitting at an outdoor cafe on Dawson Street (yes they do have these despite the rain) where it just hits me that I'm living in Dublin and think, "How cool is this?!"

In honor of baby Ruth Anne, my Irish quote will be a baby blessing:
"A new born babe,
brings light to the cottage,
warmth to the heart,
and joy to the soul,
for wealth is family,
and family is wealth."

13 October 2010


This past weekend, I went to visit another Kansas native in Kinnegad, which is about an hour west of here. Dorine is from New Almelo and her husband, Bernie, is Irish, but lived in America for 25 years before they got married. They're a really nice couple and I had a fabulous time with them! I left here at 10am Saturday morning and Dorine picked me up at the bus stop around 11. That afternoon we took a trip to Trim to see an early medieval castle - talk about dashing the romantic notion of the castle every American has! It is very dark and damp and would not have been a pleasant place to live in at all! We went to mass that night as well - very different from an American mass. They kneel throughout the whole opening, there is minimal music, and communion is definitely a free-for-all! They also still use the communion rail so it's not the 2 by 2 that I'm used to. On Sunday we made a whirlwind tour around the Midlands. We went to see a castle in the countryside that is still lived in (part of it has been turned into apartments - I want to live in a castle!), Belvedere House where a crazy earl kept his wife held prisoner for 31 years, the ruins of the Fore monastery and St. Finniachin's (sp?) church, and the cathedral at Mullinger. Definitely just getting a taste of everything, but it was very enjoyable. I left for Dublin Monday morning in order to get back in time to attend a seminar at 4 - a little rushed, but I would rather get into Dublin while it's light out than trying to find my way in the dark at this point!

08 October 2010

Fantastic Day

I had a fantastic day today! Why you ask? Here are your options based on my events of the day:
a) Latin class
b) Wonderful crepe shop
d) Ate Boston Cream Pie

If you guessed anything but c, there is no hope for you.

If you guessed a....there are no words...

Now I shall commence to explain c:
There's a card graduate students can get that allows them access to all of the academic libraries in Ireland. Today, three of us decided to go check out Trinity's library as they seem to have most of the documents pertaining from the Early Modern Period and before. We browsed in the actual library for awhile (the other two did actual research, I read about Michael Collins :) then we decided to go find where they keep the manuscripts. After many trips down drafty tunnels and quite a few stairs, we found the early printed books section. After a brief explanation of how the system worked, the librarian instructed us to the manuscripts section, which is behind the Long Room (it's the "old library"). We went into the gift shop in the front of the portion housing the Book of Kells and inquired as to how exactly we were supposed to get to the designated place and were told to go up the exit and around. We then got yelled at for going up said exit and told to just show our student passes to the ticket guy. When asking said ticket guy, he told us to go up the exit. Talk about mixed information. We then told him about getting yelled at and he said, "Well...I guess you get a free viewing of the Book of Kells!" Talk about awesome. One of my friends had never seen it so she was really excited. We then went up to the Long Room (absolute favorite room ever) and asked yet another security guard where to go. He took us beyond the roped off section and led us to the back of the room where he instructed us in how to get to the manuscripts. Talk about feeling awesome compared to all the tourists that were in there!

My ending will be another link. I've already shared it on Facebook, but it's hilarious so must be done here as well.

My favorite line out of the whole article:
"The Irish attitude to weather is the ultimate triumph of optimism over experience: Every time it rains, we look up at the sky and are shocked and betrayed."

06 October 2010

Getting it together

I have an advisor and I may have a topic! Yay! Now I just have to buckle down and do it.
My advisor is the Early Irish History coordinator Elva Johnston. She's really great (she teaches the Early Irish Civilisation class I'm taking). I wasn't sure of what I wanted to do and she was actually kind of excited that I only had a general idea (I ditched the two ideas I wrote about before). I told her I was very interested in the mythology and what aspects of the mythology were incorporated into Christianity. She immediately had the idea of working on St. Brigid. I was thinking, oh great, and how exactly am I going to prove or disprove that she was really a person (there's speculation that St. Brigid is simply the Christian manifestation of the goddess Brigid). What I'm actually going to do is focus on the Vita Prima (the life of Brigid) and note the mythological aspects in the work. My paper will then be on why those aspects were incorporated and not on whether or not she is real.

I can't believe a month has passed since I moved to Ireland! Granted, I went home for a week of that month, but still. I really need to get a routine down so it will be easier when it comes time to write my Proposal (3,000 words...just on the proposal...oh boy...)

My Irish ending this time is the link to a YouTube video - the Muppets doing Danny Boy:

29 September 2010

To America and Back

Wahlmeier family picture - that's a lot of people.

I'm back from my whirlwind trip to America. It was nice to see so much of my family, even if it wasn't for the best reason. All of the grandkids made it back for the funeral so I got to see literally everyone on that side. The service was really nice - at the cemetery, we placed shamrocks on the casket and sang an Irish Lullaby and When Irish Eyes are Smiling. I thought that was appropriate. Like I did for Granddad's funeral, I'll post the obit here:

Marcella Rose (Sally) Campbell Wahlmeier, daughter of Edward and Rose (Hayes) Campbell, was born March 31, 1927, in Hoxie, Kansas, and passed away at her home in Salina, Kansas, on September 22, 2010, at the age of 83.
Sally grew up on a farm north of Hoxie and graduated from Leoville schools. On June 9, 1947, Sally and Francis Joseph "Wally" Wahlmeier were united in marriage in Leoville, Kansas. They made their home in Norcatur, Kansas, before moving to Norton, Kansas in 1959, where Wally worked for Norton-Decatur Electric Co-op and Sally performed radio dispatch for them during trouble calls. Wally passed away March 31, 2001, and Sally later moved to Salina to be near family.
Sally was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and Altar Society and taught CCD classes. She was a past president of the American Legion Auxiliary #63, and helped with the REACH program. She enjoyed music, embroidery, and making wedding cakes, but her greatest love was her family.
Survivors include her children, Michaelene and Terry Morgan, Bella Vista, AR; son-in-law Ivan Bohl, Norton; Marla and Sam Schmidt, Manhattan; Jim and Jane Wahlmeier, Concordia; Susan and Harold Bechard, Salina; Patrick and Debbie Wahlmeier, Hastings, NE; Jeanette and Allen Nelson, Salina; Diann and Patrick Dinkel, Chandler, AZ; Stan and Janet Wahlmeier, Burlington; Sheri and Toby Holmes, Claflin; and Mark and Amanda Wahlmeier, Colby; one brother and his wife, Edward and DeLois Campbell, Wichita; 44 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Sally was preceded in death by her parents, 3 brothers, 2 sisters, her husband, 4 children, Theresa, Bernard, Steve, and Cathy; one grandchild, Hannah; and one great-grandchild, Reece.

Here's the chorus to An Irish Lullaby:
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Hush now don't you cry,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, That's an Irish lullaby.

23 September 2010

Not again!

Europe is not being very kind to me. As many of you know, about a month into my stay last year, my granddad passed away (mom's dad). I got a call at 6am from my mom telling me my grandma passed away (dad's mom). Out of everything that went through my mind when I saw my parents calling at 6am, this was not one of them. Talk about being blindsided.
My only options for flights out were 11am this morning and 11am tomorrow morning. I didn't think I could make the one this morning so we booked the one for tomorrow. I don't have class on Thursday so my plan for the day was to get some stuff taken care of on campus and go to the Garda office to get my immigration card (to allow me back into the country). I got to the Garda office at 1:30 - evidently they only do students in the morning. I guess I'll hope that I look very non-threatening and they'll let me back in on Tuesday! I could go at 9:00 tomorrow morning, but my flight leaves at 11 and I'm checking in there so that makes me feel like I'm cutting it too close.

Grandma always asked if I new When Irish Eyes are Smiling. Here are the lyrics:
There's a tear in your eye
And I'm wondering why
For it should never be there at all
With such pow'r in your smile
Sure a stone you'd beguile
So there's never a teardrop should fall

When your sweet lilting laughter
Like some fairy song
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be
You should laugh all the while
And all other times smile
And now, smile a smile for me

When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, they steal your heart away

For your smile is a part
Of the love in your heart
And it makes even sunshine more bright
Like the linnet's sweet song
Crooning all the day long
Comes your laughter and light

For the springtime of life
Is the sweetest of all
There is ne'er a real care or regret
And while springtime is ours
Throughout all of youth's hours
Let us smile each chance we get

When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure they steal your heart away.

22 September 2010

Thesis topic

I am such an indecisive person. I have an hour until my class where I have to give Elva my thesis topic, and I still don't know what I'm going to do. Now, before you freak our for me, I should clarify that I have two different ideas, I just don't know which one I want to do.

Choice #1
Why did the kings of Tara become the high kings of Ireland? The kings of Munster had equal, if not more, power and were equally equipped. Tara had the advantage of association with power through Celtic mythology, but Munster's seat at Cashel symbolized authority for many in Ireland. How did Tara finally overcome Munster?
Choice #2
The ancient Celts believed music opened doors into the Otherworld. Did this belief transcend into the Christian belief (i.e. did they believe music could open Heaven)?

I've even flipped a coin and can't come to a conclusion. Usually, when I can't make a decision, I flip a coin and go with the one I realize I'm hoping for while the coin is in the air. This time I did not find myself rooting for one or the other of my options. I flipped the coin twice, with two different results, and did not find myself wishing for the other one either time. I think the thing that's scaring me about #1 is whether or not I really understand how the kingship of Ireland worked and if this is a plausible question. #2, I'm afraid, will end up like my paper on Bohemian Methodists and fairies (got them done, but the sources weren't really there).

I guess I'll just have them both ready and see what happens!

"The Irish don't know what they want and are prepared to fight to the death to get it."

19 September 2010


Classes have finally started - hopefully this week I'll start getting settled into a routine!
I absolutely love my classes (and that's just barely plural - I only have 2!) Early Irish Civilisation and Intro to Latin. There are only 8 people in each class and each one has one other American. I was slightly scared that with the amount of people who attend UCD (I've lived in towns smaller than the student population), my classes would be huge! The Latin class is even using the book that I borrowed from my advisor last year (I knew I'd have to have Latin so I thought I'd get a head start) - up to chapter 6, I should be good! I have Latin for an hour on Tuesdays and Fridays (11 - 12) and Early Irish Civ on Wednesday for 2 hours (1 - 3). I love my schedule! A majority of that spare time will probably be spent in the library researching my dissertation, but I'm ok with that. Hopefully, that will free up my weekends to either work or do a little traveling.
There are only 3 people total in my actual program and 2 of us are Americans! Who knew there'd be two of us crazy enough to want to do Early Irish History. We're supposed to have an idea ready for Elva (our instructor) of what we want to do our dissertation on by Wednesday. I'm hoping she just wants a generalized overview because I'm not really sure what I'm doing yet (I should probably be figuring that out now, but I feel the need to maintain my title Queen Procrastinator). Currently, I'm toying with the idea of the conversion of the Celts to Christianity and how that's reflected in music. The main problem with this: I'm not sure any samples of their music have remained.
I'm almost done with Daibhi O'Croinin's Early Medieval Ireland so maybe I'll get a few ideas from that. Lucky for me, it's rainy and cold outside - the perfect day to curl up under the covers with a cup of tea and a good book :)

"Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat."

16 September 2010

Internet at home

We finally have internet at home! The guy came around 2:30 and installed it (pretty good since he was supposed to be here anywhere from 1:00 - 6:00). He told us it might take up to an hour for it to register and fully connect. I told Matt, we may have gone without for a week, but this is going to be the longest hour of our lives! Luckily, it only took about 30 minutes and it was ready to go!
I had my first class yesterday. I'm sure I'll be keeping busy, but right now it seems like I'm going to have a lot of free time on my hands. I have class for an hour on Tuesday and Friday mornings (Intro to Latin) and two hours on Wednesday afternoons (Early Irish Civilisation). Other than that, I have absolutely nothing. I'll have a few seminars now and again, but nothing regular. Theoretically this means I should be able to do a lot of reading and studying, but based on my laziness today, I'm doubtful that's going to happen. I can at least console myself with the idea that I was productive this morning. I was able to open my Irish bank account and get my Student Travel Card so once my bank account is activated, I'll be able to get my permanent mobile and bus pass (woot!) I think my world is slowly being put back together! I feel like moving overseas is a bit how they describe teleportation - everything is shattered and taken apart at the starting point, then are assembled again in their destination. When I first got here, I definitely felt like my world had fallen apart, but I'm beginning to see it all come together once more. Now if only I could convince all of you to move over here, too... ;)
Now that I have internet at home, feel free to Skype me anytime I'm online!

A narrow neck keeps the bottle from being emptied in one swig.

13 September 2010

Response to Comments

It won't let me reply in the comment box for the last post so here's my response.
Mom - Yes, I believe I've had a better time of it since I talked to you that first time!
Ashley - Honestly, the only thing that stopped me from going back to the airport was the thought of dragging my suitcases all the way back there!
I love Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore, too. The version I have is by the Young Dubliners.

I quite like ending these posts with song lyrics. Here's Ireland by Garth Brooks:
They say mother earth is breathing, with each wave that finds the shore
Her soul rises in the evening, for to open heaven's door
Her eyes are the stars in heaven, watching o'er us all the while
and her heart it is in Ireland, deep within the Emerald Isle.

We are forty against hundreds, in someone else's bloody war
We know not why we're fighting, or what we're dying for
They will storm us in the morning, when the sunlight turns the sky
Death is waiting for it's dance now, fate has sentenced us to die

Ireland, I am coming home.
I can see your rolling fields of green and fences made of stone.
I am reaching out, won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland.

Oh the captain he lay bleeding, and I can here him calling me
The men are yours now for the leading, show them to their destiny
And as I look up all around me, I see the ragged tired and torn
I tell them to make ready, cause we're not waiting for the morn.


Now the fog is deep and heavy, as we forge the dark in fear
We can hear their horses breathing, as in silence we draw near
And there are no words to be spoken, just a look to say goodbye
I draw a breath and night is broken, as I scream our battle cry.

Ireland I am coming home, I can see your rolling fields of green and fences made of stone
I am reaching out, won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland.
Yes, I am home Ireland.

09 September 2010


First off, my sincerest apologies to those I promised I would have a blog up yesterday! I meant to write, but the building I was in was closing and I headed back to my internetless apartment before I could post anything. My first day in Dublin was a bit rough. The whole trip I was so confident I was doing the right thing and that it was going to be a wonderful year. I arrived about 9 in the morning, having only had about 15 minutes to half an hour of sleep on the plane. I realized upon arrival that a year in America deactivates the SIM card on a phone, thus my phone did not work. Major problem #1. The girl I was sitting next to was taking the AirCoach to her on campus residence so instead of taking a cab like I had planned, I went to find the Coach with her. We ended up getting seperated because she was the last person on the bus parked there, and I was the first person on the next bus. I thought I was supposed to get off at Donneybrook, but I had no idea where to go after that (I had planned on calling my contacts when I got here). Major problem #2. Fortunately, the bus had wi-fi (I love technology) so I could e-mail my contacts. Turned out I was supposed to get off at St. John of God's Hospital not Donneybrook. The bus I was on did not go to St. John of God's Hospital. Major problem #3. The next series of events involves some extremely nice Irish people. The hospitality here is simply amazing. The bus driver pulled off at Sillorgan (very near my complex) and told me how to get to the hospital by asking the people waiting at the bus stop. Then, two ladies at the stop helped me get my luggage on the bus, told me which stop to get off at, and pointed the direction I was supposed to go from the moving bus when they realized I had no idea where I was. I then began my very long journey dragging my two suitcases down the street. When I got across from my complex, a lady stopped and gave me a ride up into the complex and helped me find the building I was supposed to be in. We met a man who had to return some keys to the people I needed to see so he helped me bring my luggage up the stairs in my building. By that time, all I wanted was a shower and my bed. Come to find out, the complex is not quite as great as it looked on the internet (I knew it wouldn't be that good, but I wasn't quite expecting this). I did not get a duvet and pillow like I thought and there's no wireless internet. My flatmate (who's name is Matt - wasn't expecting a guy's name? Neither was I.) and I took the bus into Grafton Street to go to Dunnes and to get necessary bedding and towels. My room has an ensuite bathroom so I immediately got in the shower and took a nap when we got back (I also had a very tearful phone call with my mom). It's amazing what water and sleep does for mental health! I'm now feeling much more comfortable and at peace with the whole situation. Once we get internet, I will feel even more so.
I have realized how much of a city girl I am not, however. Luckily Stillorgan Mall is very near by and is much smaller and less busy than Grafton Street!
This song was going through my head on the plane so I'll post it for my Irish ending:
Oh fare-the-well, dear Ireland, my own dear native land.
It breaks my heart to see friends part
for it's then that the teardrops fall.
I'm on my way to Amerikay,
will I e'er see my home once more?
For now I leave my own true love
on Paddy's green shamrock shore.

Our ship she lies at anchor,
she's standing by the quay.
May fortune bright shine down each night,
as we sail over the sea.
Many ships were lost,
many lives were cost on the journey that lies before.
With a tear in my eye I'm bidding goodbye
to Paddy's green shamrock shore.

So fare-thee-well my own true love,
I'll think of you night and day.
And a place in my mind you will surely find
Although I'm so far away.
Though I'll be alone far away from my home,
I'll think of the good times once more.
Until the day, I can make my way
to Paddy's green shamrock shore.

And now the ship is on the waves
May heaven protect us all.
With the wind in the sail we surely can't fail
on this voyage to Baltimore.
But my parents and friends did wait til the end,
til I could see them no more.
I then to a chance, took one last glance
at Paddy's green shamrock shore.

15 August 2010


I'm beginning to think it would just be easier to live in a hostel for a few weeks while I'm trying to figure out a place to live! Already, I've had two scammers try to win me over (wanted money right away before I even saw the place and had the exact same add for different countries). I just need to remember that for every scammer, I've received a legit phone call (I've enjoyed having Irish accents on my voicemail!)
The first phone call I had was from Colin (I can't say his name without an Irish accent now :), but I didn't get the chance to call him back as I discovered my phone does not make international calls. The second phone call I received today from Jennifer. She also left a voicemail, but added me on Skype so hopefully I'll be able to talk to her soon. Initially, I only had her add down as a maybe because it's a 30 minute bus ride from UCD, but it's beginning to look pretty good now. It would be living with a family whereas the first one would be living on my own. I go back and forth on if I want to live by myself or not. If I do, I worry that I'm not social enough to really make friends with people without living with someone, but then I remember that I didn't necessarily become friends with my roommates in Galway. If I live with someone, then I would have a person familiar with Ireland (and Dublin) as a go to person which would be nice to have. I guess I'll keep looking at tons of ads and will hopefully have a place to live soon!

"If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough." ~ Irish saying

07 August 2010


I have an interview up on the Baker Orange's website about my plans for after graduation. The link is:

"You know it's summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer." ~ Hal Roach

04 August 2010

Ticket to Dublin

My ticket to Dublin has been bought! I am now a fan of Student Universe as I got my ticket for about $300 - 400 cheaper than it would have been on any other site. Now all that's left is finding a house and a job!

"We have always found the Irish to be a bit odd...They refuse to be English!" ~ Sir Winston Churchill

24 July 2010

lol moment at Walmart

So it was getting pretty late in my shift a couple nights ago, and I was pretty focused on just getting out of there. While I was checking someone out, I heard a couple arguing farther down the line if he was going to buy her some gum. He said no and she finally relented. When their basket got to me, she goes, "baby, give me a kiss." Turns out, this was the perfect distraction for her to slip the gum into the basket. I'm trying my hardest not to laugh (no easy thing for me, as you probably know) since the man is totally oblivious to all of this. I quickly ring up the gum and slide it, right in front of him, to the woman. The man is still completely oblivious! The woman and I are cracking up and the guy has no idea why! When I announce the total, the guy goes, "wait - did you get gum?!" By this point I'm trying my hardest not to laugh really really hard, thus can't really talk. I somehow managed to gain enough control to move onto the next person, but even now, just thinking of the guys reaction to this, is making my laugh.
Reading back over this, it's not as funny so maybe you had to be there, but I was very entertained.

Irish trait:
The Irish ignore everything they can't drink or punch.

25 June 2010

Sleep Wanted

I don't know what the deal is, but the past couple of nights, I have not been able to fall asleep for the life of me. I'm tired, but I can't keep my eyes closed. I realized the first night of this that I only had tea with caffeine so yesterday I went and bought an herbal tea so hopefully that will help a little bit.
I can't believe June is almost over! I thought the summer was going to drag by, but it's really going pretty fast. My apartment is working out well, and living above an Irish store hasn't proved too bad for my checking account :) It helps that I haven't quite figured out her open hours, too. Having my bed in the living room is a little strange, but we have the couch halfway across the room and I hung curtains behind it to give me some semblence of a "room." It's definitely not as awkward as I thought it could be.
I received my official placement into the Early Irish History program at UCD! I e-mailed the director and asked if she had any books she would recommend for me since I've obviously grown up in America and don't have that much background in Irish History. She said that she doesn't expect anyone to have any background but she did recommend two books for me to read. One was by a professor that two of my friends had in Galway! Daibhi O'Croinin (sp?) is evidently "the man" in this field so I'm going to get at least his book. The other one she said was a little more advanced and since I really probably only have time for one, I'm going to just go with Daibhi's.
Irish insult:
Go n-ithe an cat thu is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat.
Literally: May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat.
I love Irish insults.

14 June 2010

Things I've Learned Working at Walmart

I've worked at Walmart a short time, but I've picked up on a few things that I feel you, who most likely are a Walmart consumer, should know:

-If you have time standing in line, please remove your clothes from the hangers. It will make your checkout go so much faster.
-Put all of your groceries together so the cashier doesn't have to spin the bag wheel 50 times to ensure no grocery items are put in with chemical cleaners.
-ALWAYS put the bar between your stuff and the next person's stuff. Don't assume the cashier will automatically know where the break is (the belt keeps moving until something stops it. Chances are the cashier didn't see the break there.) This one really irritates me.
-If you call the cashier by their first name, even though you don't know them, stop. It's creepy.
-Try to empty your cart and move forward to grab the bags of the wheel thing as fast as possible. There are only so many bags, and, especially when you don't separate your items, they fill up fast.
-Make sure there's a bar code or a price tag on every item. If there's not, find one that has one or remember the price.
-Don't get angry at the cashier when the card reader doesn't work. They've had to deal with it all day and are probably more angry at it than you are.
-Keep your card out until you're positive the transaction has gone through. If you're paying with a credit card, keep it out until you're sure the cashier won't ask to check your signature.
-Cashiers judge you by what you buy. And we question what you could possibly be doing with these items (especially in the express lane with minimal items). Like condoms and butter...maybe I don't want to know...

Irish quote of the day:
"I can resist everything but temptation." ~ Oscar Wilde

02 June 2010

What do you do with a BA in History?

These are the lyrics to a song from Avenue Q. Instead of the original What Do You Do With a BA in English, I have changed them to What Do You Do With a BA in History.

What do you do with a B.A. in History?
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge
Have earned me this useless degree.

I can't pay the bills yet
'Cause I have no skills yet
The world is a big scary place.

But somehow I can't shake
The feeling I might make
A difference
To the human race.

The answer? Apparently, work at Walmart.

Irish gem of wisdom:
In heaven there is no beer
That's why we drink ours here.

01 June 2010

Here we go again

I never really stopped doing my blog, but I'm going to start writing a little more regularly now (hopefully!) Although I won't be the Galway Girl anymore, the Dublin Girl does not have quite the same ring to it so I will be sticking with this title. :)
I am about 3 months out from flying to Dublin to start grad school! It seems so close and so far away at the same time. Currently, my preparations for Ireland consists of working at the Baker Archives and the Walmart in Lawrence. I've started a savings account at home entitled "Ireland fund" (much safer than my envelope all the money was in! Now I can't access it anytime I want Taco Bell!) Other than saving, I can't really do much in preparation until I receive all the official stuff from UCD. For some reason they think graduating is a prereq to grad school (lol) so my official transcript is en route to Dublin, then they'll send me a packet via snail mail in return. This is when I really hate how slow overseas mail is.
Once I receive my packet, my 'to do' list is sure to grow. Right now it merely consists of scholarship search, graduation thank yous, and Ashley's Christmas gift (yes, from last Christmas - she'll get it eventually!) I still need to find a job in Dublin, find a place to live, and buy a plane ticket. I was hoping my unused Italy ticket would be able to be changed, but the tour company said that they can't do that. :( Sad day.
At least while I play the waiting game I have plenty of reading to keep me busy! I just brought home two books my parents borrowed from one of the Sisters in Concordia called Absolution by Murder and Suffer Little Children by Peter Tremayne (both mysteries of Ancient Ireland), I have two from the Baker Archives entitled How the Irish Saved Civilization (love this title) by Thomas Cahill and A History of Ireland by Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry, and I have two from my advisor, one of which I've had since January (senior sems pretty much took care of any free reading time this past semester) called The Twilight Lords by Richard Berleth which is, surprise, about Ireland during Elizabeth I's reign. Hmmm....all of these books are about Ireland. I'm sensing a theme. The other one from my advisor is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke which is about fairies, but takes place in England so a little different. I also have another book given to me by another professor called South of Broad by Pat Conroy which is actually not about Ireland! So needless to say, I have plenty of reading material for the summer! Oh - I almost forgot the book I'm currently reading! It's called Delaying the Real World by Colleen Kinder. It basically tells you how to put off an office job and do something fun that gives you a unique life experience - pretty much the best book ever!
Well, this became a longer post than I thought it was going to be! I think I'm going to start ending these posts with unique pieces of Irish wisdom. Here's the first:
The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke. The Scots still haven't figured it out.

20 March 2010


So, I'm sure those of you who read this already know via my Facebook, but I've accepted an offer to study early Irish histor at University College Dublin starting his fall! Just a little excited :D It's a year long program in which I will obtain a master's degree. I'm thinking right now that I'll probably go on for my PhD, but haven't decided for sure yet. I've said absolutely not to teaching for a long time, but the idea of being a professor is beginning to appeal more and more to me.

Ok, now if anyone knows of any really high-paying summer jobs or international graduate scholarships give me a ring!

13 January 2010

No Italy :(

I had planned to go to Italy this week and next week for my interterm class at Baker. Those plans got cancelled after a recent hospital visit. About 9:00pm Saturday night, I began feeling like I couldn't get a good breath. About 4:30am I woke up my roommate and asked her to take me to the hospital. Once I got there, they suspected a blood clot in my lungs, but they couldn't find any substantial evidence. I was admited to the hospital for more tests, and I remained certain that I'd be released Monday and on a plane to Rome Tuesday. That was not to be. Monday, I had an ultrasound done on my legs and they found blood clots behind both knees. So, now I have to give myself shots in the stomach twice a day for at least this week, and I'll take Cumadin (sp?) for 6 months to a year. I can't do transatlantic travel for 3 months (good thing I didn't get on that plane to Rome, huh?) Second semester at Baker doesn't start until the 27th so I'm at home for the time being, relaxing, blogging, applying to grad schools, and catching up on everything I didn't get done over Christmas break. I know I'll get to Italy someday, although this is the second time I've missed the opportunity (the first was when I was studying abroad - I ran out of money for Italy). I still hate that I've missed out on this trip though. There were quite a few people going on this trip that I was looking forward to spending time with and sharing the experience with and I won't be able to have that when I go in the future.

I wonder how fast a speed boat gets you to Italy?

05 January 2010

1 year later...

It's been a year since I left for Ireland! Where has the time gone?! I just spent the last hour reading through my posts - I'm so glad I kept this blog as I don't remember half of the stuff I wrote about! Today, I was thinking about all of the things that made Galway so fantastic - the Crane Bar, the Saturday market, the Skeff, the Living Room, Eyre Square, Shop Street, the Spanish Arch. People say there's not much to do in Galway, but I beg to differ. There's not a lot to see, but there are so many places you can just sit and enjoy life. There were numerous times my friends and I went and layed in Eyre Square, enjoying the few full days of sunshine. The Saturday market was a great place to get lunch (a Big Mick crepe with various cheeses, meats, and pesto plus homemade doughnuts) and then take it to the Spanish Arch and enjoy the river and Galway Bay. Walking down Shop Street there were always street musicians performing and lots of shops you could wander into for a little while.
I desperately want to go back to Ireland. I'm applying for grad school at University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity College (also in Dublin), and National University of Ireland Galway. The program at UCD is the best one for what I want to do, but I'm going to miss Galway a lot. I guess it's only a 4 hour bus ride away!