I have been slacking since we left cork, but I must finish it now.
I fell in love in Dunmanway! It was such a cute town but also the students in the 6th class were amazing. They taught me how to dance and make me laugh. They asked meaningful questions and funny ones that stood out from previous classes. Even though it was a short time in the school, i found why i teach. It is because of the students.
Later that evening, we were graciously welcomed into Aisling’s home. Her family was too kind by feeding all of us a three course meal and then teaching us Irish sings, pretty much listening to our different tuned voices. Then we went out to bar for the first time a nd what an experience. We were extremely under dresed, everyone was dressed in the nicest, super attractive clotthign as we were all in jeans and a nice shirt. :/ We still made the best of it by dancing and having a lot of fun singing to the 90′s songs that played all night.
Lastly, was Gallway and Patrick’s school. Just like everyone, how could i expect anything less but kindness. They had an entire assembly for us, telling u about the life in Ireland and their traditions. Especially their love of music and dance. We all go to hear them sing songs and one song even made some people cry. We then went to visit a classroom bu we spent the time answering questions about the U.S.A.
Now a bittersweet return home.
I don’t know what to say. Shin aids schools was beautiful, perfect for teaching. It looked like it was meant for teaching, it was colorful, it was size appropriate, and the classrooms were built for teaching with space. We also were welcomed and greeted like no other. We had an amazing spread of food for tea time and the students had such amazing personalities. It was fun to be in and teach our fourth class.
Next was Ashlings school, it was a bit different set up a little confusing but the classrooms were set up to teach. They all had smart boards and all of students had a routine with all of their things since they do not have desks with personal space they keep things on top and in bins and it is still organized. We also got to see and ask questions about the all Irish schools. It was funny because the students believed they had to speak to us in Irish and I know three words so I was lost for a bit. When the teacher taught lessons she was kind enough to accommodate us and had students help explain and used motions to teach the lesson so we could understand. It was very interesting.
Then to Jameson where I became a whiskey expert. Then to titanic where I learned more about the titanic than I thought. Overall a great learning experience day!
Pictures are to be announced…..
Early start but I slept the entire way to the caves. And I didn’t really think I was there because it looked like a normal house on a normal country street. But we walked up to the window and the lady said ten euro I believe per person and she would be our tour guide. We walked up the rainy hill and waited to see where to go. It was an old iron door on the side of ridge. And down we went 200 meters of steps! We got down and the further we went the bigger it was!
Next was lunch at shenaids. All I can say is yum and a big thank you! The house was beautiful and a piece of home we all needed.
Then to blarney castle and the kissing stone. We walked up the tall winding stairs that got smaller and smaller the further up you went. Went to kiss the stone and opened my eyes once I got down and got a bit scared! But I did it. Now at the hostile just hanging out.
Enjoy the pictures below!
I know I have said this before but what a day. We started off about a bit strong at the Guinness Storehouse. The storehouse was set up by the process of creating the beer and how it effected Ireland. First, is the ingredients, then the mixing ( a lot more to it the mixing but I can not remember the names for each step), once mixed properly then it is put into handmade craft barrels. They used to make 1000 handmade craft barrels a week. Now of course they have modernized but watching the process of making those barrels was incredible. We then got to experience the beer in a way I had never experienced before. I was never really a fan of the strong taste but now I understand the various scents and taste in the beer. I may not drink it but I understand it better than I thought. Then off to lunch and trinity college. We finally got to have tradition Irish lunch, Bangers and Mash. I loved it!!!!!! Then trinity college was amazing, very quiet compared to the city it was in, which was nice to see. We saw the famous book and the library. Then we got to explore Dublin with our free tour guide Patrick. Had a good day and now on the quiet bus back home.
This morning we got to visit another school. We came a bit un-prepared but as teachers do, we went with it. We read a snow book then played with chemically made snow and made snowflakes. It took the entire time and caused a bit of chaos but it was funny. Then we went to drive to cliffs of Moehr but stopped by the tourist town that was distorted by the storms. Then to the cliffs. The pictures will explain it better.
People always say you learn so much when abroad and boy have I learned. Big lesson I learned today was do NOT trust technology. I tried something new and it changed a word to non block word that I would never use on my blog. Luckily, I had Dr. O looking out and mentioned it. So now I start again and gladly; I would never want a word like that on here.
So here we go! What can I say about Saint Conairs but amazing; marvelous teachers, respectful and amiable student, and hospitable staff. We went to the third class the first day and Mrs. Malone was so nice and inciting. She moved her schedule to allow us to read and do an activity. I got to read flotsam to the third class and I was really glad to hear that she liked the wordless books for older students. I also got to see how they teach Irish and it was amazing and confusing. I had a student help me translate as they were practicing but I still an only remember one word, hata means hat.
The next day was much different, still amazing but a lot to see and so little time. We first went the math aid I guess. I can’t remember the word for it but it was incredible to watch. They did station teaching and they were teaching the first class to remember how to count by 5′s and 10′s to allow for easy addition. The student could count to 100 and backward starting at odd points. They could count by 10 starting at 6. It was incredible to see a 6 year old do so much when we don’t think they can. Most of the teachers said kids love responsibility and thrive on it and it’s true. They can do so much and love it. That is definitely something I will take back with me. I then went to a different third class where I got to observe art, which is taught by the classroom teacher. That to me is very different but I do like that we have specials teachers because I don’t know how to teach music. I’m the least tuned person in the world. I sing more off tune then the off tune birthday song. Lastly, I answered questions about America but it ended up being is this or that bigger than a mountain.
The last day was very short but just as equally amazing. We observed senior infants with the reading specialist and they were all international students and they loved being there. They didn’t feel different or missing out on something. Then we got to see Oliver and had a discussion with the teachers to see what they believed.
What a day! We did so much and I took so many pictures, too many to even show on the blog from my iPad. I will post them once I get back to the states. It is such a unique city, we saw shops with all different types of building structures, each now match the stores personality, as if it was its own person. But first we toured the campus of Mary Immaculate College and I must say the insides of these buildings are remarkable. This school is definitely a great place to study; they have really thought out the uses for each classroom and each student in placing the seating. I would like to first talk about the lime tree theatre entrance it have a auditorium like set up for a place for students to meet and relax. It gives plenty of space for students to meet, sit, and maybe. Not many tables but still very cool. Next it their stage, Holly told us that is the largest in Limerick and now allows for this side or Ireland experience more escalated theatre plays and dance shows the. Ever before because of the quality and size. It was just amazing how many fit and it did not look very wide.
Next was the education classrooms, they were made exactly for education students. They had double sided mirrors for observing without pressure. Then in the room Dr. O mentioned to be like block rooms were meant to have extra space for posters and work and have a stage inside for the speaker/teacher. It was also bright without being fluorescent because of the windows they placed and colors they chose. It was absolutely amazing. We then got to tour the radio station which is student centered for any student, not just mass communications majors. They play music, read books, have guest, and discussions. Just an infinite amount of possibilities when your seeing new things. You find things you may love and want to take with you and others that you see as space for improvement. Mary immaculate college was just so nice but not only the school itself but the people. First, Holly for all she did. She showed us the school and the city. Then, if course the president for finding time to meet with us and prove scones and tea.
Now on to the touristy part. I am a big picture person and you can ask anyone I stopped and was far behind everyone just taking so many pictures. I loved it, the architecture we passed on the way to King Johns castle. It may have been a slight problem at the castle because I missed a few informational pieces from the tour guide but I got great pictures. I did get a majority of the information. I learned about the types of people that were in Ireland and how it changed with time and the importance of the rivers.
We then went the Hunt Museum for lunch and a tour and what an amazing collection of artifacts. The hunt family was very interesting, as a businessman he kept a great collection of things that he used on a daily bases as if they were thousands of years old or worth a lot of money. But if it weren’t for that we would never be so fortunate to see it all together and know the variety of backgrounds. I fell in love with two pieces, one the wooden sculpture that was one of a kind. It was hard to understand when they had to find out when and where it came from. It was a piece of Greek style art but was made of wood which didn’t happen. Then they found the wood was from Egypt which made the doubt it as Greek but the style and hair was Greek no doubt about but also they had found that it was cut long before is was sculptured. It is one of a kind and worth a lot of money, I can’t remember the amount. My next favorite piece was the ring Mr. Hunt gave to his wife Gertrude that spelled out dearest with the first letter of each stone on the ring, just adorable and romantic.
Lastly, we saw Saint Mary’s Cathedral. It is the oldest cathedral in Ireland. It was catholic at the start and now is Protestant, but the director said it was always meant for a Christian church. It was a beautiful large church and had many interesting things. There are three I focused on, first the lepracy squint. It was a hole in the wall built for the people that had lepracy and allowed them to see mass and get the offering. Next was the alter, the director told us for a while after the war it was outside because the soldiers had moved it outside. It is inside now and has this beautiful, detailed, handmade embroidery with multiple colors. Lastly, was the old chairs they had, they were there because in olden times church lasted hours and well one would get tired so they were allowed to lean on them but not sit until the end. Hannah tried sitting in one but it buckled a bit so it wasn’t very good to sit on anymore because of their age. Limerick is just gorgeous and historical, I really can’t wait to see more.
Ok. So I wrote one but I do not know what happened. So hopefully this works.
Finally here were the first words I said in Ireland. The struggle to get here was something I had never experienced before. We landed in Newark, New Jersey no problem but getting off was a bit more difficult. First, the airport did not have a gate available for us due to all the delays from the snow. Then we had a gate but a pile of snow was in the way so we waited on the plane until they cleared the way. We were sitting on the plane waiting longer than the flight to New Jersey. Then our layover was longer than expected due to the delays on our flight to Shannon, Ireland. It was delayed two hours but when we finally got on the plane part of the plane was frozen and we had to wait on the plane for almost two more hours. So finally was the best words to say once I arrived.
Day one in Ireland was relaxing. We had no plans but dinner at 5, I think. So my mission was to try and not sleep. So we walked around a bit and I got to notice things that were different from the U.S. First was the side on which they drive and well it is still hard to get used to I walk on the wrong side and almost got hit by a car. Oops. They weren’t going fast but it was funny because I forgot I was in the wrong. Next thing I noticed was the houses. They are beautiful, just like I have ever wanted in a house, cute and quirky. So far this trip has been me getting to see the differences and get used to a new country.
Today, we went to the mall and got to see a movie. I realized that tax on items are already included, so excitingly prices are actually what they say they are. After lunch, I went to see a movie, Nelson Mandela, it was very good. Once we left the theatre we saw Gypsy’s, a different experience because I had seen them only on tv. After dinner we relaxed for a bit and then played a funny game that allowed us all to get more acquainted. I can not even remember the name but it was very funny.