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London

Time November 12th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hello!

This past weekend I went to London to visit a friend of mine who is studying abroad there at Goldsmiths College and to see one of the biggest cities on the planet. I arrived in London at Stansted airport on Friday evening. I navigated to the bus line to get downtown where I met my close friend and another student studying abroad from our home university (Lafayette College). We decided to head back to my friend’s flat at Newcross Gate to get some grub and so that I could drop off my valuables. I first got an Oyster Card (similar to D.C.’s Metrocard) so that I could use “the tube” and other of London’s public transportation systems for the weekend. London’s public transportation system is massive, composed of a network of underground rails, overground rails, and bus lines criss-crossing the city like a spiderweb every few minutes. Upon reaching Newcross we got food at a Caribbean joint called “Cummin’ Up”. The store was owned by a cheerful, plump Jamaican lady boppin’ to a reggaeton soundtrack. Her glassy eyes and languid mannerism suggested something aside from the music was on her mind as well. The jerk chicken with beans and rice was incredible, likely the best I’ve ever had. The entire area of Newcross Gate seemed to have a number of Caribbean inhabitants based on the people we passed in the streets and shops. Combined with the other neighborhoods marked by a variety of distinct cultural influences from North Africa, India, Asia, and the Middle-East, London lives up to its reputation for being a diverse city.

The next morning we headed downtown to the heart of London to begin our self-devised tour of the city. We started at the Borough Market, one of the most incredible places I have ever been. Stalls of vendors crowded by multitudes of customers milling about the market created a boisterous and cheerful atmosphere. Vendors were selling everything from fresh ingredients to full meals as well as everything in between, if it was food related – you could probably have found it there. Being in London, I decided to get a meat pie; the one I chose contained chicken, gravy, leeks, and stilton cheese, although there were many others to choose from including seasonal pies. It was piping hot and absolutely divine. Next, we started walking down to the bank of the Thames River where we would cross and continue on to our eventual destination of Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. Just as we reached the bank we happened upon Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It was very pleasant to see since Shakespeare was a good sized component of my high school literary education. Not far from there we reached the Millennium Bridge, an entirely pedestrian bridge spanning the Thames. From there we gained a fantastic view of the famous Tower Bridge, the Spire, and much of downtown London. We continued across the bridge towards St. Paul’s Cathedral. As we reached the main road on the North side of the Thames we encountered a parade for what we gathered was the British equivalent of Veteran’s Day. We stopped to watch as it passed for different groups within the parade seemed to represent an evolution of Britain’s military. The first to go by were modern military men in big vehicles, then well dressed cavalry, riflemen, lancers, followed by a progression of other groups each approaching a colonial manner of dress. We continued West along the riverbank. We could then see “The Eye” across the river and Big Ben in the distance. As we grew closer the true size of Big Ben became apparent; Big Ben is indeed quite large. We finally reached Big Ben after some time and next to it is Westminster Abbey. Both of these structures were spectacular. After much gawking among other tourists we continued past the naval war rooms and on again to the Mall and Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square was very nice with a large fountain near its center and ornate columned buildings surrounding the square on three sides. Two statues sat on pedestals opposite the gate to the Mall and on to Buckingham Palace. Upon one of the pedestals sat a large, regal looking lion. The other position was held by a large blue rooster; apparently this pedestal is visited by a number of circulating statues periodically. We walked down the Mall again, this time towards Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace was very ornate with a large statue of Queen Elizabeth I in front. From there we continued on to Hyde Park where we saw Prince Albert’s Theatre and the Prince Albert Memorial. The memorial was an open structure with a giant figure of Albert upon a throne of sorts under its roof. This was my hosts favorite place in the city, the park is very nice, and the memorial is visually stimulating. Hyde Park, apparently, used to be the royalty’s private hunting grounds, but now there would be hardly more than pidgeons to catch there. Kensington Palace seemed very nice from the outside, but it was getting late, dark, and they had stopped accepting visitors for the day. That night we had Indian food at a small restaurant near my friends flat in Newcross Gate. The curry I had was very good, although surprisingly mild. My friends tikka masala was also very good and had a very strong coconut flavor that was particularly enjoyable.

Sunday morning we woke up so that we could explore the Camden Market before I had to get to the airport. The market was larger than the Borough Market, but included more shop vendors than food vendors. I saw vendors selling suitcases, watches, leather goods, books, photography, art, music, and wooden wares among many others who sold clothes and other knick-knacks. Apparently, Camden caters to a very hip, punk crowd of youth among other demographics. There was an abnormal number of tattoo and body-piercing parlors in the area on the street as well as matching punk/metal styled clothing shops. One place in particular emanated electro-punk and was certainly the most eccentric store I’ve ever been inside. This place was named “Cyberdog” and from the outside one could hear loud music and see neon lights flashing as two giant robotic figurines stood watch at the entrance. IT was three full floors of neon shaded glasses, tight-fitted clothing, and very colorful (in many senses) pierced employees and customers. It was, as my friend echoed, “an experience”. All in all, I found London to be a lively and diverse city offering good food, art, music, history, and people. The only drawback I could find was that the exchange rate on currency was fairly high. London is expensive. However, it is definitely somewhere I will return to visit and that I may considering living in at some point in my life.

Cheers,

Wesley

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Free Laughs in Dublin

Time November 1st, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hello All!

This weekend I had a grand old time going to a free comedy show in the basement of a pub just off of Grafton Street. I believe it was called “Stag’s Head”, but the event was certainly named Comedy Crunch. All of the acts were Irish folks, but interestingly there were equal number Irish people attending the event as there were performing! That equals 6 Irish folks in the audience to 6 Irish comics. It was shocking considering the basement was jam-packed with likely over 80 people. The first comics decided to take a survey of the room to get a feeling for the makeup of the crowd, which was quite diverse. There were a pair of Dutch gentlemen, three bankers from Scotland, a handful of English ladies, a couple tables of Spanish people, an Argentinian fellow, a Brazilian couple, a few Canadians, a couple of French Canadians (friends of mine), a couple of French people, an overwhelming number of Italian people, and a handful of Americans (including myself). Yet, there were only two small groups of Irish people, one group was a rowdy bunch of Dublin marathoners and the other a group of college aged kids. Impressive in the amount of diversity there was, but strange in the lack of local attendees. The comics were all entertaining, I noticed each of them made a joke about America likely because I and a few other Americans happened to be sitting right in front of the stage. A couple of them were also quite critical of Ireland’s financial situation often relating it back to the EU’s financial situation as a whole. I was surprised as one of the comics was quite dour the entire time he was on stage, not sure if it was part of his act or if it was his personality, but his jokes fit well with his demeanor. In any case it was interesting to see and my friends and I had a great time, plus it was free!

A few other things I noticed while walking in Dublin this weekend were the people, mostly about the modes of transportation. Recently, I’ve noticed that, despite the stereotype that Europeans all drive tiny cars, that seems to becoming less and less true. I keep seeing larger sedans (Mercedes), SUV’s, and even a few mini vans; they’re not hard to pick out either in comparison to the numerous tiny cars that still populate the streets. It may be that the large-car craze is catching on in Europe. Secondly, although Dublin is a big city, by any standards, the people don’t seem to walk as the stereotype is for city-folk: FAST. I’ve never lived in a big city (Philadelphia, New York City, etc), but I’ve been to these places and the people there do tend to walk quite quickly. I tend to walk fairly quickly, but not at an NYC pace. It was only this weekend that I noticed people in Dublin, on average, walk noticeably slower than I do. I was a bit surprised by this as I was expecting fast paced, big city walkers. But, I suppose it’s hard to do that when people are stopping to listen or watch street performers, which is definitely one of the coolest parts of downtown Dublin. Additionally, it could be that the volume of people walking on the sidewalks is too much to maintain a fast pace as many of the sidewalks are narrower than those found in more modern big cities, much of the architecture, including the streets, is quite old in Dublin (another facet of the city’s charm).  Just a few more observations, Halloween is tonight, going to a few events, Halloween is huge in Dublin, but more on that later.

Cheers,

Wesley!

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West Coast Field Trip

Time October 22nd, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hi All!

This weekend I took my first field trip with the UCD Geology department. As part of the Basin Analysis course I’m taking in the geology department we traveled to look at a sedimentary basin fill sequence on the west coast of Ireland near the town of Kilkee. We stayed in Kilkee and drove about twenty minutes south to begin our trace of the northward dipping stratigraphy toward Kilkee and just north to a town called Listoonvarna. Apparently Listoonvarna is somewhat well known for it being featured in a song, but I’ve never heard the song.

The field trip was quite a bit of fun we woke up every morning, got on our reflective vests, hard hats, rain gear, and headed for the coast. Unlike in Pennsylvania where I’m used to looking at regional stratigraphy via road cuts for the highway, a fair portion of the rocks to be seen are along the coast in the forms of cliffs. Much of the department’s focus is on the geology of industry so much of the focus of this class is on studying basin formation and fill for how it relates to the petroleum industry. In fact, two gentlemen from an Irish company were accompanying our class on the trip and we’ve been told many other schools and companies travel to this area for similar purposes. The weather was very nice the entire weekend compared to the forecast, it was supposed to rain day and night for the duration of the trip. There were showers scattered throughout each day, but only one or two lasted more than 30 minutes. For the most part, it was fairly warm (for the time of year) and sunny, the best weather for looking at rocks. The basin stratigraphy starts with a quiet deposition with the Clare Shale and finished with delta build-out in a series of cyclothems a difference in sea level of hundreds of meters. We followed channel scours, channel fills, fan build-outs, and mouth bars all the way up to the atmosphere interface. It was a great sequence to hike along from day to day. Apparently, this class has experienced a number of accidents while on their field trips from breakdowns to broken legs. This time an “accident” manifested in one of the two vans getting stuck in a ditch on the side of a dirt farm-road. Luckily within about an hour we’d found a nearby farm with a tractor and a few gentlemen willing to drive out to pull our van out of the ditch. We’d tried ourselves to push the van out, rock it back onto the road, and shove rocks under the tires for traction. Luckily these farmers were friendly enough to lend their tractor because none of our efforts had yielded the slightest result. Sunday evening we made the trek back to Dublin via Galway meaning we had to pass through another area of geological interest in Ireland: The Burren. The Burren is a succession of hills made up of reef limestones that had build up in the geologic past leaving behind large grey, mostly bare, hills that provide a spectacular sight. It was a pleasant drive especially in the evening sun. Unfortunately, our class won’t be taking any more field trips this semester.

Wes

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Brussels/Bruxelles!!

Time October 8th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

 

Hello All!

This weekend was fantastic! Friday morning I boarded a plane in Dublin City to visit Brussels in Belgium. Brussels was an amazing city and it’s quite easy to get around on foot if one has the patience. The center of town is a dense, bustling place packed with incredible architecture, which is much of what I was after seeing. I also had a good time sampling some of the region’s plentiful varieties of beer.

Of course, when people talk about Belgium there are a couple of things that instantly come to mind: chocolate and waffles. Something I wasn’t aware of is that french fries also have a history in Belgium. The french fries were quite good, but the chocolate and waffles were the main focus in the food spectrum. I had a tour, with my traveling companions, of the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate. It was interesting to learn how chocolate is molded by the chocolatiers, but the best part was chatting with the chocolatier, an older woman who was incredibly sweet and funny. She must have enjoyed chatting with us because she gave us a fair number of special samples after the rest of the audience had left; the samples were of the specially filled chocolates called “pralines”. Incredible. We did not find a waffle museum or receive any free samples, but we enjoyed them nonetheless. The waffles were noticeably different from the waffles I make at home in that they were sweeter, and not just because I got mine topped with nutella and bananas!

That night we went to a small back-alley street that was lined with bars. One of the establishments was the Delirium Pub, so named for the house beers served there. Across the way was an absinthe bar, which we decided was worth sampling while in Brussels. It was quite strong and tasted of liquorice. The bartender, a gruff man, showed us how to properly drink a shotglass worth of absinthe. First, dunk a sugar cube in the liquor, then place it on a flat surface over the glass and light it on fire letting the melting sugar drip into the liquor. Finally, after a few moments, blow out the flame, drop the cube into the liquor and enjoy. Quite an experience and one that I won’t likely forget.

On Saturday I decided to go for a walk. I walked across the city from the south aiming for the landmark Atomium just outside the city to the north. It was a fantastic walk, I got lost and found myself at a large domed building in the north of the city. It appeared to be a government building similar to the Capital Building in Washington, DC, but I could not read the signs and did not stop to ask. Instead, I turned and headed for Atomium. This brought me past an old looking cathedral on the edge of Brussels (or so it seemed) past which I crossed a bridge and followed a street to what seemed to me to be a suburb of Brussels. From there I could see an enormous stone Cathedral that looked magnificent from a distance, I stopped by to look inside later. It was extremely ornate, but I did not enter for there was a service in progress. On my way to Atomium I stopped to have a puff pastry at a small bakery. It was filled with a wonderful vanilla cream, topped with chocolate, warm, flaky, and the perfect treat for a long walk. As I got closer to Atomium I passed the largest outdoor streetmarket I’d ever seen. It was blocks and blocks in length, I walked for 20 minutes and neither found the start nor the end of it, I seemed to have just passed through a part of it. A few blocks away I heard a band playing music, but I had already been distracted and wanted to make sure I would be back to my hotel to meet my companions by dark. Finally, I reached the enormous park where Atomium sits. Atomium was a sight to behold; giant silver metallic balls suspended over the science center for which it is the symbol. I was interested in the exhibits, but after so much walking I was quite happy to sit among the gently rolling hills and shady trees of the park. Then I walked back, had dinner, and went straight to sleep.  Although I was only there for a short time, I came to appreciate Brussels, I would encourage others to go and seize any opportunity to return.

All for now,

Wes

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GAA Sporting and Spectating!

Time October 4th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hello All,

It’s been a bit of a busy week around UCD. Mostly with labs, starting research, and watching lots of sports!

This week I began a research project with UCD’s Fault Analysis Group, a research based group supported by funding in part from companies in the energy industry. I’ll be working with Dr. John Walsh and his postdoctoral researchers using high resolution 3-D seismic reflection data to map fault geometries. Most folks probably didn’t understand what I just said, but it’s really interesting to geology nerds like me! Understanding these fractures, how they form, and the patterns they assume are really important to subsurface fluid flow and that is hugely important to people in the groundwater industry, the oil&gas industry, and people dealing with subsurface chemical contaminants.

Also in the past two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to see the All-Ireland Final matches for both the GAA Gaelic Football Championships and the GAA Hurling Chamionships. Both the GAA sports are played with teams based out of each of the country’s 32 counties. The sports are quite different, although when set in the context of what the goal of sports are across the Olympic Games, they seem fairly similar. Gaelic Football is similar to soccer/football in that the players pass to a round ball to eachother, kick the ball every few steps, and aim to kick it into a guarded rectangular goal. However, there are huge differences in that players may carry the ball in their hands for a certain number of steps (I believe it’s 4) and they can pass the ball to eachother by slapping it through the air with their hands! On top of that, making it into the rectangular goal gets a team three points whereas hitting it through uprights above the goal (much like those found in American football) gets the team 1 point. The final match for Gaelic Football was a tight match, but in the end the home Boys in Blue, Dublin, won out! It was a pretty spectacular time to be in Dublin, especially at a sports bar.

The GAA All-Ireland Hurling match was initially played three weeks ago between Co. Cork and Co. Clare; however, the game resulted in a tie and the rematch was set for this past weekend. This time I went to a small bar down off of Grafton Street called O’Neills where the beer selection was large (much of it being regional) and they had one of the largest sandwich selections I’ve seen, it was fantastic as well. One thing I’ve noticed here is that many pubs serve carvery lunches, much like a Thanksgiving dinner in the United States. A friend of mine got one, a bit pricy, and received a plate piled with ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, greens, and a few other morsels; it looked incredible. The game started at 5pm and at first Clare ran away to get a 5 point lead right off the bat. Quite literally as the game is played with a wooden bat of sorts with a flat head. The ball appears to be much like a baseball, players must use the bat to knock the ball forward (doing so to oneself in the air is allowed, some players simply balance the ball on the bat while they run). The goal, much like Gaelic Football, is to get the ball through a pair of uprights (1 point) or to knock it into a goal (3 points). The ball may be carried in hand for up to 4 steps and the players may pass the ball to eachother. It’s quite an exciting game to watch, it is also quite violent with players trying to defend eachother using a mallet as a near-weapon. It’s quite an invigorating sport to watch and I would suggest anybody who has the opportunity should do so.

Anyways, I’m off to Brussels this weekend! Pictures and stories from that adventure are to follow!

Cheers,

Wesley von Dassow

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Galway

Time September 23rd, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hello Everyone!

This week everything finally got sorted out with classes, much to my relief. It was beginning to drive me a bit insane as I was taking an extra class to try it out at the professors recommendation, but he wasn’t sure if I met the prerequisites. It all turned out alright and I’ll be taking Basin Analysis at UCDs Geology department. Being around the geology department has been the closest thing to home I’ve experienced since leaving the states. The atmosphere is similar, the professors are all very helpful, and the students have similar attitudes to many of my peers at Lafayette.

The real excitement was last weekend when I went to Galway with a group of other international students. A fairly ragtag group one girl is from Australia, another from Singapore, two gentlemen from Montreal, and a handful of Americans. The country side was amazing, I was staring out the window for most of the bus ride across the country. It only takes a bit over two hours to cross Ireland, coast to coast. The countryside is green the whole way across, I’d always imagined rolling hills of grass as are pictured in movies, but in reality there is a great portion of the countryside partitioned off by fences of shrubbery into rectangular plots for livestock to graze upon.

When we got to Galway we started to figure out what we should be doing. We settled on going to the the Cliffs of Moher; the geologist in me was thrilled. The bus we took made a few stops at a portal tomb, which had two boulders supporting a large boulder balancing on top. Apparently, below them is an opening leading into the actual burial chamber, but there was a rope fence around the area at a 100 ft radius. We were in a region called the Burrens, which is apparently one of the least habitable portions on the island of Ireland. Nevertheless it supported grasses and short shrubs on top of the thick successions of limestone beds that make up the Burren hills and made early agricultural efforts impractical. It was a brilliantly clear day, so the Cliffs of Moher were spectacular. We walked along the cliff on the path near its edge and made our way to the tower at its top. It’s quite a dramatic drop from the edge of the Cliffs, I believe it was something over 300 meters. The waves crashed against the base of cliff quite vigorously even on such a calm day making one wonder what they might be like during a storm.

On the way back from the Cliffs we stopped in a small fishing village called Doolin. There we ate at a bar and tried one of the locally brewed beers, Dooliner Irish Red Ale; I have to say it was one of the better beers I have ever had.

The next day we thought about going to the Aran Islands, which are famous for the ruins on the islands and the traditional Irish way of life that continues out there. However, it was storming and any ferry we would have taken out there could not have gotten us back to Galway in time to catch our bus back to Dublin. But that just means we’ll have to go back another weekend! We spent the day walking the city, following the twists and turns of the few canals that lead to Galway Bay, and seeing the Spanish Arch, one of the oldest structures in the community. We stumbled upon a dog show, which was a fantastic way to get to know some of the locals and see some really big dogs. While there we got introduced to the Mayor of Galway, I bet that’s not something that tourists can often say!

Make sure to check out the pictures I took in Galway in my Ireland Gallery!

That concludes most of the excitement for this week, in this next week I hope to be hiking through the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough so stay tuned!

Wes

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Getting Settled

Time September 11th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hello All,

This has been quite an eventful week and the weather has been fantastic for Dublin as people have professed to me and with respect to the stereotype of it being grey and raining on a daily basis. It has been a bit chilly compared to what I’m used to in the States this time of year, but it’s comfortable. Unfortunately, it does mean that it will become downright cold before too long. Most of what I’ve done has been gathering necessities such as a pair of sneakers, toothpaste, shampoo, dishes to eat from, cookware to cook with, and the list goes on. However, while doing most of those things bit by bit over the past week, I’ve found myself just wandering about Dublin, getting a bit lost, and enjoying whatever I come across. I’ve seen Oscar Wilde’s house, the parliament building, a governor’s residence (right in downtown Dublin!), and a handful of medieval castles and churches set amongst much of the city’s newer architecture.

On day two our group from the program was taken to the Guinness Warehouse where the famous Guinness beer is brewed and patrons receive a free pint with a ticket to wander the warehouse. Arthur Guinness has a rich history with the city of Dublin both as an entrepreneur and philanthropist as it turns out. The view from the tower on top of the factory is fascinating as the warehouse sits on a slight hill and is one of the tallest structures in the city at 7 stories tall; as it happened, when we were there it was a sunny day and one had a view of the entire city and the surrounding countryside. The absence of looming skyscrapers is something I find quite charming about the city, although the traffic is just as ferocious as one might find in any of the metropolis’ that host such massive buildings in the United States.

As classes have just begun this Monday I’ve only started to meet Irish students who attend UCD. The residences on campus host many of the international students whom I’ve been mingling with, but with the arrival of Irish students at the start of classes things have been much different. Accents vary quite a bit in Ireland, even between students from neighboring counties they can be completely different. On top of that, many of them speak the Irish language to one another. The Irish language is used much more commonly here than I originally expected. All labels, signs, nearly everything that needs to be physically read around the city is written in Irish first with the English phrases written below. Students here generally take it from the time they enter school and throughout.

This past Sunday I got to go on a trip with the Erasmus club here to Howthe where, upon climbing a small “mountain” we had a vantage point from which to view the entire city of Dublin from a twenty minute drive away. Then we walked down through the Gardens of Howthe, which were extraordinarily green and pleasing to the eye. From there we walked around the edge of the island to get a view of the coast before finally coming back to school. However, while having lunch at a pub in the town of Howthe, we had the chance to see most of Ireland’s national championship game for a sport called Hurling. It was fascinating to watch and a gentleman near the bar explained the rules as the game progressed between county teams from Cork and Clare. Apparently, it’s not a professional sport, the players aren’t payed. The players all play for glory and the pride of their county. The game was a tie, so we’ll have the opportunity to see it played out again in three weeks time.

Unfortunately, the memory card for my camera was full up when I got here, so I’ve just been able to clear it since I’ve had to get a converter for the electricity wall plugs as well. But, next time I should have photos to share as well!

Cheers,

Wesley

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On the Verge

Time September 3rd, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hello,

This is the first of many times I will be blogging about my experiences this Fall in Dublin, Ireland. My situation is somewhat unique in that this semester will be my last semester as an undergraduate student. That means that as I sit in my friends house on our college’s campus, I will be leaving this place for the last time as a student in the next few hours. Three years is a fair chunk of time, which is part of the reason I did not hesitate in deciding to study abroad, even in my last semester. However, as I’ve been here this weekend, I’ve realized part of what I’ve knowingly given up, a senior year with lifelong friends before entering the “real” world meaning jobs, added responsibility, and complete (or nearly so) financial independence.

In the next 12 hours I will arrive in the east side of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in my life. Part of the reason I chose to study in Ireland was the fact that the school I will be attending is known for a solid geology program, the other is my mother’s family ties to Ireland as Fitzsimons’. I’m nervous to be living in another country by myself for nearly 4 months, especially since I know of no other students from my home university that will also be in Ireland. Although, it’s been a habit of mine recently to make similar decisions since reaching college age. At the same time that I am nervous about being alone on foreign soil, I’m excited at the independence I will have to do as I please and to not have to conform to the plans groups tend to make.  I’m excited to visit my aunt in London, a friend who will be studying in London from Lafayette (our home institution), and one of my best lifelong friends from boyhood who will also be in London. As a person with interest in geology I’m excited to visit places in Ireland such as the chalk cliffs, Giant’s Causeway, and Edinburgh, home of James Hutton who is credited as one of the early fathers of modern geology. This semester has potential to be academically and personally one of the most enjoyable and valuable learning experiences I ever have; I can’t wait.

It’s been a long weekend of excitement to see people after a long summer, saying goodbye as I may not see my friends here again until May of 2014, and meeting new students as they adjust in their first week of college. Similarly, I realize I will be going through a nearly identical experience when I arrive in Ireland, an experience I had three years ago when arriving to college. I imagine it will be much more intense because, not only will I be in a place where I will need to meet a new set of people, but I’ll have to grow accustomed to an entire new set of cultural norms. Thankfully, there shouldn’t be too much of a language barrier to get past; however, I’ve heard the similarities can make the little differences that much harder to handle as a result of differences in expectation versus reality. That much can only be told with time as I experience it for myself, but I’m sure it will give me plenty to share as I live and learn in Ireland.

Until next time.

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