Sunday, September 6, 2009

What's happening in Ireland :)

I will try not to go this long without posting at least something, because it seems that there is always something going on here that might be of interest to y'all. I finally got some good pictures to add to my blog and facebook, so we'll use that as my excuse for not getting anything up here since Wednesday. So now it's a test of my memory and writing abilities to get you caught up!
One thing that I've been loving is the fact that I've been sleeping in until about 11 every morning. I realize I won't be able to do this once classes start, but I didn't even get to sleep in while I was home due to all the errands and things that I had to get done. The drill has pretty much been sleep in, wake up, work out and then some random adventure to follow. The work outs have consisted of running on the track that's about a two minute jog or five minute walk from my flat. Yesterday was the first sunny day during my run and I think the sunshine gave me some extra energy as I did twice as much as usual. There was a father there with two of his sons yesterday and the youngest boy will be an Athletics (track and field) star someday. He had no fear and seemed to be like the Energizer Bunny with an unlimited amount of energy! He ran all the distances, had a go at long-jumping and even cleared the hurdles I had set out with decent form for his age. On my way out I told him he was looking good!

Ok- enough with my workouts- y'all probably want to hear about other stuff. Thursday I rode the bus into the City Centre to get a cell phone! Planning on facebook was such a hassle! So I got the cheapest phone I could and it's actually pretty inexpensive to dial back home! Skype is still the way to go though- look me up on there if you haven't already. Next stop was Dunns- which is about the closest thing to a Wal-Mart that I've found here. It has a grocery store in the basement, clothes and such on the main floor and housewares on the top floor. It's in a shopping mall, downtown so you get to ride escalators from one floor to the next :). Wednesday we had rain all day long, which is what today is actually looking like as well, so I knew a pair of 'wellies' or rain boots was a much needed thing. I found a cute pair of black ones with white polka-dots for 12 euro and I know I'll get some good use out of them! Later that night we went to a comedy thing at the Student Club. Unfortunately the only seats that were left were in the front- bad, bad idea for a comedy show! Ally had met some girls at a meet and greet thing for international students so we were there with 2 New Zealand girls, 3 French girls, an Italian and a girl from Holland. Definitely a diverse group! It was a great 'crack' for sure.

Friday was a semi-epic grocery run! Any major grocery shopping that you want to do here needs to be done somewhere off of campus. And it's not like you pile in the car with a bunch of your friends and go to Wal-Mart and come out with carts full of stuff. 1- You have to catch the bus. 2- Grocery stores are much smaller here and selections are not as varied. 3- Bring you own bags, they charge you here for shopping bags. 4- Keep in mind that anything you buy, you have to lug back on the bus. 5- Check-out lanes were not made for a lot of stuff. So I bought about 27 euro worth of groceries which should last me a while! I went with my friend and flatmate Ally and she bought more stuff than me and we had a great time hauling it all back :) After we got back, I was just wondering campus taking some pictures when I ran into a friend and she said they were going into town. Why not tag along? This was a more relaxed trip and we did a lot more sight-seeing this time. I got a little camera happy as we ventured into the Temple Bar area and crossed the river. It was a beautiful evening and I even saw a double rainbow over the river! :) Probably one of the best moments since I've been here :) Yes, yes, the cliche captions of the leprechauns and pots of gold came streaming into my head, but I resisted them all and just took in the moment.

Saturday I wondered around campus and the buildings where my classes will be to make sure I knew where all my classrooms were. I have five classes tomorrow, with some back to back, so I wanted to make sure I could get to them all on time. Turns out, I only have classes in two different buildings, so I'm going to be just fine :) I was planning on updating this last night, but then my flatmate Josh, the Purdue grad, asked to a movie with one of his friends. Why not? It was a great 'Irish' night on the town as we ate Chinese and saw District 9, which is based out of South Africa. It was fun though, I got to see some new parts of the city and tried some new food- shocking I know for those that know my eating habits.

Which brings me to today. I had full intentions on going to church this morning- even figured out which bus and all I needed, but the college student won out in me and sleep was the victor over all. There is a contemporary service this evening that I'm going to try to make it to, so we'll see.

So things that are happening around here is the re-vote on accepting the Lisbon Treaty. Ireland, as part of the European Union, is the last country to ratify the treaty. From what I have heard, the treaty basically strengthens the European Union as a whole. The initial vote was 'No' and after a lot of negative feedback from that, the people that are for it are campaigning hard to get it passed. There are signs everywhere in support of it. The vote is going to take place in October, so I'll be here for it and could be a historical thing if it's passed.

Politics back home are heating up too as I follow what I can. President's Obama's address to the school children was yes, initially, absurd. Especially with his proposed lesson plan of having the students writing a letter to themselves of 'What can I do to help the President.' That is totally pushing policy and a distorted image of the President to them. Now when the plan was changed to writing down their education goals, ok, whether you like Obama or not, the motivation coming from his position, I agree will help keep kids in school. My gut still doesn't trust the man, and I think he has better things to do than this particular address. Especially when you look at this situation from the educators' point of views. They are put in awkward situations- some being forced to show the address, some having the 'choice' and receiving pressure from their students and administration. Again, I just feel like he is stirring up yet another pot that doesn't need it. Last time I checked there was still terrorism in this world and a national debt that he has 'inherited' (I think he has used that word at least 1,000 times). Ok, enough politics. I should do something with this day, probably going to suck it up and go running in the rain, that way I can have my day off tomorrow with classes starting :)


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