My favorite picture of the Irish countryside

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: