Dublin and Actors and Castles… Oh My!

24 Jan

Life in Ireland has been quite busy the past week and a half! But every moment has been AMAZING!!! I have officially had all 5 of my classes at the IES Center. The center is this Victorian brick building that used to be a post office. It’s really cozy, and everyone there knows you when you walk in the door. It’s so great! The classes have been really fun, too! I’m taking Perspectives on Northern Ireland, Irish Language & Culture, Revolutionary Traditions, Irish Communal Identity, and an Internship Seminar. The professors are wonderfully nice people with lovely Irish accents.  They are quite captivating speakers, which is good considering each class is 2 and 1/2 hours long. They also incorporate a bunch of field trips/walking tours into the course curriculum.  It is so great to be able to be out there actually seeing the places that you are trying to learn about in class.  Everything is so much more meaningful this way.

I have also officially had my internship with the Abbey Theatre Archives for 4 & 1/2 days. It is such an incredible opportunity for me to be a part of such an important organization.  I get to organize and catalog old handbills, pull pictures and news clippings for researchers, and attend important meetings for the theatre. I even got to go to the first rehearsal of one of the new plays to hear the actors read through their lines together for the first time! I got to meet the actors, the writer/director, the set designer, and the rest of the Abbey Theatre staff on Monday! It was so awesome! I feel so important working for a theatre where Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Sam Shepard, and Liam Neeson have all performed! How many 21-year-old college students get to say that?!

I have also been doing some traveling and exploring lately.  Last weekend, a group of us went to Cork in the southern part of Ireland.  We stayed in a cute, little hostel called Sheila’s for a decent price. In Cork, we went on a pub crawl with people from all over Europe. We also went to this cool English Market where we bought some fresh (& cheap!) food to cook dinner. The best part of the weekend however was the side trip to Blarney Castle! IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! I have been dying to see a real castle for years, and my dream finally came true! It was so beautiful and majestic that we hardly noticed the constant rain. We got to walk the grounds and climb the castle. We managed to make it all the way up the tiny (& slippery) spiral staircase to the top of the castle where we proceeded to kiss the Blarney Stone to get the “gift of gab.” This was not an easy task because we had to lay down on our backs, grab the metal bars, and bend backwards down a hole to kiss the bottom stone. A little terrifying, but well worth it!

Well… more to tell you next time! Goodbye for now!

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