Rain check. Raining on your parade. Raining on your wedding day. Raining cats and dogs. Raining in Ireland.
Last year, I left Ireland after I spent vacation there, on “break” from Poitiers, France, and returned to the U.S. for my final school year as an undergrad. Until yesterday that is, when I was drowning in school work (actually, this is still accurate). Anyways, I have always wanted to work in the cultural and linguistic heritage/preservation field in some manner, and now I will get to practice this. Oh, right – the difference between today and yesterday is that 1) while I received an email yesterday, the contents of that email led me to 2) commit to a graduate program today.
I will be in Galway, Ireland, “reading” Arts Policy and Practice as a part of the M.A. 1-year taught programme at National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway). * Slainté! I also have a 4- to 6-week obligatory summer internship to complete following the end of the programme in April 2015. Additionally, I will have the opportunity to learn Irish/Gaelic/Gaelige. Erin go bragh! It is very near the Gaeltacht, and most all signs and quite a few things – publications, businesses – display both English and Irish, and I even heard it spoken, so I’m sure to pick it up. Well, I’ll try to if I’m not too charmed by the accents, although I think I have been safely desensitized to charm (as well as ironic humor) after my year in Poitiers, so I am going already prepared! There are worse things.
Since I was able to visit NUI Galway last spring, I already know that I like the atmosphere–which is not always to say that I like the weather. I will wait to buy rain boots there, as I’m sure they’re cheaper and I know to pack all but the essentials – I mean, pack ONLY the essentials!
Galway Top 10 (observations during our 2-day stay):
1. Being in a bar with Mum and Da, the coveted corner-of-the-bar-spot being successfully being occupied by Yours Truly and Mom, which provides optimal view of the bartender, the actual bar, and the space crammed full of people that is often called “the floor ” (i.e., standing room only)
2. when very chatty Italians are behind you at the bar and encroach upon your personal space to keep ordering shots, it is OK, because their conversation is hilarious
3. said Italian guy will hit on your mom (although she denies it) as you all leave the bar, because she is “bella“! Will also ask her to take a photo of his friend group.
4. it is mildly/very awkward and funny to sit in a bar with your parents on a student night (which appeared to be every night), regardless of your relationship status
5. it is entertaining to read the body language of people in bars, especially the ones having zero luck despite their efforts at chatting (usually ladies) up
6. the bakeries are phenomenal. Yes, on par with France.
7. tea with sugar = obligatory social custom. Sugar and creamer are barely optionary.
8. curse words are truly just adjectives sprinkled into every sentence
9. bright paint colors on buildings = lovely
10. the fact that Irish people say “lovely”, “grand” and “craic” with zero irony
*”Reading” means “studying” in Ireland, at least in this case. “Programme” is how they spell “program”. “Module” means “course/class”. Virtually all M.A.’s are 1-year-long.
These photos are from my 1-week stay with Mum and Da last April. Before you wonder, no – none of these photos are from Galway, but are from different places we visited in Ireland. I was having too much fun in Galway to bother taking out my camera. I will try to do that more starting next August.
For the moment, I am sorting out all the details about where I will live &c., as I will definitely not be with a host family. I considered the Guinness factory, but then remembered I will be on the opposite edge of Ireland (West coast). I am also trying to finish my homework. As you can guess, both are slowly progressing.
In other news, I’d like to take fiddle lessons while I’m there (let’s be honest, to buy a violin). Well, who knows.