Sabbatical

Today was spent printing all manner of travel papers and information, as well as packing and helping other people pack. Tomorrow I leave for my spring break at 6am, so this may be my last post for awhile. I’ll be back for sure May 3rd, so look for a new post then!

In the meantime, here’s where I’ll be:

April 17th-20th: Amsterdam
April 20th-23rd: Berlin
April 23rd-26th: Prague
April 26th-29th: Vienna
April 29th-May 3rd: Rome

Excited? You betcha.

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Happy 100th Post!

It’s been a long road and I can’t believe it’s already my 100th post! I’d like to thank you, all my readers, for which I could never have done this without. I’m serious — if I had realized I was the only one reading this about 97 posts ago, the entire blog probably would have petered out before I even made it to IADT for the first time. So to thank all of you for making this possible, you’re all going home with a brand new car!

"You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!"

Unfortunately I’m just kidding. All you get is a heartfelt thank you translated through the cold unpersonalized HTML of cyberspace.

<html>
<head>
<title>Thank You</title>
</head>
<body>
<p>A warm thank you to all of my kind and loyal readers!</p>
</body>
</html>

Now to business. This morning was a glorious morning full of chirping birds and warm sunshine. At least I think it was, I actually ended up sleeping in through most of it having somehow become sleep deprived over my last week of classes. Or maybe it was because I was up until 3am Skyping my parents and Alex.

Also Daniel Radcliffe, compliments of Alex.

Kelsey and I spent the morning finishing up our last assignment for Hitchcock, which was just answering question about what we learned and what we disliked and what we liked and what we would miss and all of that general stuff you should reflect on after spending four months in a foreign country. We also watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince because really, why not?

The Hitchcocks invited everyone over for dinner (sort of a last hurrah before everyone heads out on spring break) and asked each house to bring a dish to share, so I got to make a salad for the first time in much too long. The boys house provided the garlic bread (thank you Anders), and the other girls brought dessert (tiramisu!). The Hitchcocks made spaghetti and homemade sauce, though I was really disappointed it was Friday because the meatballs he made looked amazing.

Still better than hoki.

After dinner Kelsey and I came home to start packing for our trip, and I called my grandma to thank her for the awesome birthday card and see how she was doing. It was nice to talk to her but I am pretty jealous of the 85° weather she’s having in Arizona. I was also glad to hear she’s been enjoying my blog.

Tomorrow’s going to be busy getting ready for the trip. Until then, happy reading!

Photo Shoot

This morning was our last day of classes, and the last time I had to get up by 6am to catch the DART to Dun Laoghaire and the bus to Baker’s Corner. More than likely it will be the last time I’ll go to IADT. Not that I’m emotionally attached by any means, but it does mean that the trip is really starting to wind down.

Closer than we think.

Libby, Kelsey, and I gave our presentations to the class of Irish students that had been so lucky to be forced into the classroom at 9am, and I think it actually went fairly decent. It was a nicely cohesive and informative presentation about Starbucks’ presence in Ireland, the tourism industry’s affect on the economy, and Dublin’s semi-state of public transportation. We also have to present it next fall at Loras, so hopefully it goes just as well then.

After our final class meeting I came home with Kelsey, Danielle, Libby, and Anders, and tried to decide how to celebrate being done with school. Sitting on hold with a German rail company was, surprisingly, not on the top of that list, but Kelsey and I really wanted to book our tickets from Vienna to Rome for when we’re out on spring break (it’s nearly impossible to get into Rome last minute around Easter). After about an hour-and-a-half struggling to find a train making the journey and a customer service center that spoke English, we were booked and ready to be done doing productive things for the day. Which is how we ended up watching Mean Girls.

You go Glen Coco!

Kelsey took a nap so I went next door to hang with Libby and Danielle. We made scones and then had tea time, which was something we decided we need to bring back to Loras next year. We also tried to decide what we wanted to do for the night, which somehow brought us onto the topic of Danielle wanting to fro out Libby’s hair. Ashley, who’s a Fashion Design focus Integrated Visual Arts major, got wind of this and asked Danielle, Libby, Mo, and I to let her do our hair and make-up for a photo shoot for her art portfolio. This is why I’m getting my hair teased and ratted to about six times its natural height and volume as I type this.

It was a lot of fun though.

By A.Ford Photography

Spring Shopping

8am class this morning was quite abbreviated, which was probably OK. We discussed a few current events –the Dali Lama is visiting Ireland for the first time in 20 years– and then Hitchcock met with Kelsey, Libby, and I to talk about our presentations that we have to give tomorrow for the Irish students.

After class we hung out with Danielle in the Atrium building for two hours because we had been invited to a free brunch celebrating James Joyce, or Ulysses, or something weird like that. Also weird was that they served kidneys. Whole kidneys.

Smells like a dissection lab.

After trying to eat, we took the 46A into Dublin. Kelsey and I went to Penney’s to get clothes for spring break. I ended up getting a really great deal on a couple shirts, shorts, and a sun dress. Also while out shopping I picked up a new memory card for my camera for break, and discovered that Irish pharmacies don’t sell sunscreen, which is something I really don’t understand.

Seriously.

Kelsey and I met Mo, Matt, and Rob for dinner at Pablo Picanté for delicious in burrito form then came home and worked to prepare with Libby and Anders for our presentations for tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll go well!

What’s Today?

My schedule has been really thrown off by going into school yesterday, so I subsequently thought today was Wednesday all day. It was really confusing.

Tuesday started off a bit worse than I wanted when I woke up about 20 minutes before we needed to be leaving instead of an hour prior. Most days I can handle the unexpected time crunch, but I had to give a presentation in Hitchcock’s 8am, so I was a little more stressed than usual.

Just a little.

I did manage to get out the door and to class on time with everything I needed, which was at least helpful. We started class with what some might consider interesting banter, and then began the presentation.

Part of our research projects include presenting them to people back at Loras, as well as a few people from IADT. The former presentation will be sometime next fall while the latter will be Thursday, so Hitchcock decided to use today’s class as a dry run. Rather than taking almost two hours to let everyone present, the class agreed on three people who would represent everyone. This ended up being Libby, Kelsey, and me.

Why they thought it would be us, I have no idea.

Libby presented her findings on Starbucks, I talked about the tourism industry in Ireland, and Kelsey gave a lot of really great information on public transportation. I thought the entire thing went pretty well, as did virtually everyone in the classroom. There are a few small adjustments to be made, but nothing that will be too difficult to fix before Thursday. We also got our critiqued and graded research papers back.

After Hitchcock’s class, I went with Libby, Mo, and Anders to our very last Cinema in Culture class. All the groups presented their movies, which was pretty fun. The genres ranged from melodramatic suicide contemplations to comedic zombie slayings, and it was very interesting to get to see what everyone else had been working on all semester. Our’s seemed to be pretty well-received, and hopefully our professor enjoyed it, or at the very least understood what was going on.

"Quoi?"

Once lecture was over I came home with Anders, Kelsey, and Mo, and put the finishing touches on both of my Cinema in Culture papers and submitted them. I also caught up on my blog and wrote my City As Text assignment that’s due tomorrow for Hitchcock.

Kelsey and I went with Mo, Matt, and Rob to Borza’s for dinner, and the girls were all just over watching Jersey Shore, as is normal for most Tuesday nights. Now I’m off to bed, and hope that tomorrow I can wake up on time and remember what day it is.

Romanticism Final

This morning marked the first time I’ve gone to school on a Monday since mid-December. I always knew finals were awful.

Good grief.

I got to spend all morning reviewing for the exam (which was an hour-and-a-half two-question essay exam) and rode the DART to Dun Laoghaire with Libby and Anders. I thought that the test actually went pretty well. We got to choose the questions we wanted to answer, so I got to write about forgiveness in Jane Eyre and challenges posed by science in Frankenstein.

After the exam we came back home, and I continued working on my film noir paper for Cinema in Culture, as well as a logbook essay for the same class. I also need to put together my presentation on my research paper for Hitchcock’s class for tomorrow morning, so I’ve got lots to do!

Accordion Accompaniment

Gavin wanted to spend his last day in Ireland out of Dublin, so we had planned to go to Malahide to see the woods and the beach and the castle. Unfortunately, since it’s a Sunday the trains don’t run as regularly, so we would have had to wait for another hour to leave. We decided instead to go to Howth and were joined by Ashley, Kelsey, Libby, Matt, and Mo. We were also joined by an entire train full of people, which is easily the most people I’ve ever seen go to Howth at one time.

Normally the ferocious sea lion guards scare people away.

By the time we got there, the Sunday market was in full swing and we were all starving, so we bought lunch and then walked down to see the sea lions at the pier. We also noticed boats going out to the Eye of Ireland (the little island right off the bay), so we walked most of the way down the long pier to check prices. We decided €15 per person was a little steep, and continued down the pier. It was a gorgeous day out, about 60° and sunny with no wind, so we all sat up on the sea wall of the pier and enjoyed the accordion player sitting about 50 yards away.

It was extremely enjoyable.

We got a little uncomfortable sitting on the sea wall since it was concrete, so after the accordion player left we went to a sand beach at the bottom of Howth Head. Sand, of course, is a bit of a liberal term since the majority of the beach was covered in rocks. We met a dog that insisted on chasing after every single rock we threw into the water, and barked if we stopped throwing them. We also, as per usual, found the most unconventional thing in the area to climb on, which is how my Chucks got completely submerged in seawater. Twice.

But we got to climb on rocks.

We had some time to kill before we needed to catch the DART so we wandered through the market for a little while, then rode back into Dublin. Gavin, Kelsey, and Libby were nice enough to go to Penney’s with me to buy a pair of €1 flip-flops so I didn’t have to walk around city center in soaked shoes.

I made sure Gavin got on the bus to the airport, then Kelsey and I walked back to Sandymount since it was so nice out. In hindsight, doing this in brand new €1 flip-flops was not the smartest idea. In the days to come I can look at my blisters and reflect on how lovely today was.