Hottest Day of the Year in Dublin

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today was apparently the hottest day of the year in Dublin.  As this article points out it reached a whopping 25.5 degrees today.  That is about 78 degrees Fahrenheit.  It's just funny when thinking that at home the average temp for the week was around 80 and that is just normal for the tail end of summer.  It was a beautiful day but unfortunately I had to spend 5 hours of it in class. 

In other new I started ultimate frisbee yesterday!  My first practice was last night and it went very well.  Tonight we had a girl's team social at TGI Friday's in town.  It was great to get to sit down and talk with some of the girls and I think being part of the team is going to be a lot of fun. 

Other than that everything's going well.  I already have a midterm that I should start studying for but that will most likely be put off for a few days. 

Arthur's Day and Culture Night

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm finally starting to feel better!  Sore throat is gone, coughing is at a minimum, and sneezing etc. is under control.  It just took a full weekend of rest to reach that point.

Thursday was Arthur's Day.  This was a day created two years ago to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the creation of the Guinness Factory.  The celebration went so well that they've now made it a yearly occurrence.  My course rented out a bar in Blackrock where we got some great discounts on drinks and free finger foods.  The whole point of the day is to 'cheers' to Arthur Guinness at 17:59 which was not hugely enthusiastic, mainly because it was hard for people to get a good enough buzz between the end of class at 3pm and that time to turn it into a real celebration.  Of course everyone reached that point soon after and it was an all around great night. 

The River Liffey
Friday was Culture Night in Dublin.  I met up with Kat and her roommates in town and, while we intended to do 'culture' things, we just kept ending up at bars.  To give ourselves some credit we did follow a marching band, walked into an art gallery, and used the bathroom in City Hall which was having an exhibit. 

Other than that my weekend has been pretty low key.  I keep forgetting that the library is closed on Sunday so while I should have printed a bunch of things yesterday I figured I'd have plenty of time today.  Right now I'm ecstatic to have found a good stream to watch the Pats game on and, since I don't know how long it's going to last, I'm going to go enjoy it!

Culture Shock

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Well, I should be doing work right now but blogging is a great way to procrastinate while still feeling like I'm accomplishing something.  Classes are going well.  I'm shocked to find out that I am still understanding accounting but I'm just going to enjoy it while it lasts.  I also really enjoy my classmates.  They are all a lot of fun and make coming to class each day better.  A decent sized group of us went out Wednesday night to the Bleeding Horse and then after to Copper Face Jacks.  I feel like bars/clubs in Ireland are surprisingly a bit more upstanding than at home but I think Coppers would be the equivalent to the Liquor Store in Boston. Its fun when you're there but remembering it the next morning is a little painful.

Smurfit Business School
That leads me to one of the biggest differences that I've noticed so far while being here.  I guess this could be my little piece of "Culture Shock". Students here go out all nights of the week like they are equal.  I wasn't home until 4:30 on Thursday morning and struggled in class the next day but for most students here that is the norm.  I've come up with a sort of roundabout explanation for it granted it is totally just my assumptions.  When you're a student in college in the US you can't legally drink until 21 which is usually your junior year of college so there is not point of going home on weekends because you'll just end up sitting on a couch next to your parents.  Instead you stay on campus, invite your friends over, and find an older student willing to buy for you.   Because the drinking age here is 18 kids can go home on the weekends and drink with home friends.  This causes the campus to be absolutely dead on the weekends (terrible for me).  This also means that if they want to go out with their college friends they have to do it during the week so it just becomes normal to go out on a Monday, Tuesday, etc.  I of course had fun going out Wednesday but the thought of doing that regularly seems painful.  I just find it interesting how different the two situations are. 

Friday I had a presentation boot camp with Emma Ledden who used to be on MTV and apparently a few tv shows over here.  It was very helpful but after 8 hours I was just tired.  Later that evening I took a trip to Maynooth which is another University about 30 minutes from Dublin where some Boston friends were gathered.  It was beyond nice to see them again. 

Saturday I was supposed to go on a field trip to a farm outside of Dublin but for various reason I didn't go.  Later that night people came over to my apartment for a late birthday celebration.  We had a few drinks and then we went to the Palace, another Dublin club.  It was a lot of fun and I was so surprised to find that people just don't grope you here... they actually dance unlike at home where you have to be wary of going into a club without a taser.  Maybe I just go to the wrong clubs at home but I honestly don't think you could find anything like that in Boston for only a 10 euro cover. 

This week is "Fresher's Week" where all the societies and sports teams set up booths in the student center and bribe you into joining with free pizza.  I joined the L&H Society (Literary and Historical Society) that is supposed to have some great debates and I believe the twins from Harry Potter are coming in a few weeks.  I also joined the International Student Society and signed up for something else though I'm not even sure of its name... I just know that they had the biggest goodie bag. I also signed up for the frisbee team which will be nice to get back into and a great way to meet people.

In other news, I fell off my bike for the first time since I was about 12... granted I haven't ridden a bike much since then, but it was just as embarrassing, if not more so, as it was back then.  I just hit a curb awkwardly and did a nice slide into the sidewalk.  Luckily I didn't go into traffic but I should really start considering getting a helmet.

And now, after a great but exhausting week, I'm sick.  I'm attempting to overdose on vitamin C and get as much rest as possible but we'll see how well that works.

Birthday Weekend

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's been quite a busy weekend.  Kat arrived early on Saturday and because everything was closed on campus for the weekend we headed into the city to find food.  We ended up at Starbucks but it was at least a Starbucks in Dublin.  After that we walked around for a bit, stopping at the mall next to St. Stephen's Green to get some household things and a cell phone for Kat.  We later took a walk through Trinity's campus and people watched for a bit.  We were only there for a few hours but by 1:00 Kat was exhausted having flown through the night and I was suffering from a bout of sympathy jet lag.  While she napped I got some work done.  Later on we trekked off campus to find some food but there was only one place within walking distance and it was in the middle of a neighborhood.  After making fools of ourselves we managed to sit down to a nice meal.


Sunday was my birthday!  We slept in, made a nice pancake breakfast, and then headed back into the city center.  We met Ellen at the Guinness Storehouse where we took a tour and got our free pint of Guinness!  I have to say the Guinness Factory is massive compared to the Sam Adam's Factory but both were very interesting tours to go on.

After Guinness we went to Burdock's where we all got fish and chips and then headed back to my apartment for a nap.  A little later in the evening some friends came over for drinks and cake.

It's nice to already be in my second week of class.  I'm starting to get settled a bit more each day.  My bike ride to and from class has been enjoyable and it has been giving me a decent work out twice a day.  I need to remember to get a picture of my bike to share.

Settling In

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sorry for the delay in this post.  It has been a hectic, crazy, and exciting few weeks and I've only now found a minute to sit down and start this.  I had a wonderful cookout the Saturday before I left and a great last night out with my friends at the Old Court.  I spent most of the morning of my flight attempting to pack.  While I intended to bring one suitcase and a large backpack that thought was quickly squashed and I ended up with two suitcases that were 1/2 a pound under the maximum weight and a carry on that was 13 pounds over.   Needless to say I got a work out lugging all that stuff around.  My parents dropped me of at the airport and my flight went smoothly though I wasn't able to fall asleep on the plane.

It was 5 in the morning Irish time when I landed and my friend Ellen and her mother were amazing and picked me up at the airport.  We got back to their house where we had a nice breakfast and then everyone scattered off to work.  Knowing I had to beat the jet lag as soon as possible I decided to head to a local mall to keep myself awake.  I got myself a phone, a new hair dryer and straightener, and discovered the magical place that is Penny's.  I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of money there over the course of the next year.  I spent several hours at the mall and then headed to the village of Rathgar.  It's what you would picture when you think of an Irish village. Lots of cute locally owned shops.  Even a bike shop named MacDonald's!  I realized (after being up for 30 hours and walking for the last 5 of them) that I was hungry and exhausted so I grab some food and headed back to Ellen's house.  After a nice shower I laid down for an amazing nap.  Jet lag naps are always the best.

One my second day in Ireland Ellen gave me a tour of my campus and we took a trip to the city center to get me a bike.  It's an adorable "Erin sized" bike.  It's also about 10 years older than me but works great.

On Sunday I was able to move into my apartment.  It is very nice and clean though still a bit echo-y.  I've only just now (6 days later) managed to unpack everything.  I met two of my roommates who are both very nice, and then settled down in anticipation of starting class the next day.

Monday was a full eight hour day of orientation.  There was a lot of forced mingling time which is always awkward and uncomfortable but is admittedly the best way to get to know people in the program.  It's funny to think back to a few years ago where the concepts of accounting and finance would have made me scream.  Listening to the program director talk about it actually made me looked forward to these classes (we'll see how long that lasts!).

Tuesday began my first real day of class and although we only have class for two hours a day, the amount of reading assigned is already daunting.

Wednesday was the start of accounting which I'm surprisingly understanding for now.  After class I wandered around the main campus for a while getting a lot of free things and even sitting through and hour long welcome for first year students just to get a free UCD scarf.  The things I will do for free stuff...

I've managed to open a bank account but I still can't figure out how to print things in the library.   Baby steps.

My bulletin board is filled with events and programs I need/want to attend and today is the first day since I moved in that I didn't have any where I had to be.  Of course that means I'll be spending most of my Friday doing homework already.

The wonderful Kat O'Loughlin arrives tomorrow morning from Boston.  She'll be staying with me for a few nights before she can move in to Trinity.  I think we're going to do a lot of exploring which I'm looking forward to. 

First time at the apartment

My room

My bathroom

Living Room

Kitchen

Another view of the living room

View from the apartment

"Stuff To Do" Board




Arrived

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Finally made it to my apartment after 3 days of living out of a suitcase.  Proper post will be coming soon!