We’re getting so close to the first day of school! I’m super excited but also a little nervous, since I have no idea what to expect. Thursday I finally had my most useful orientation classes, where I met with my fellow classmates in the same major. There are 15 of us (everyone is Irish except me); 7 are studying French and 8 are studying German. We also got to know our way around a bit more. Since my major includes both the arts and the sciences, I will constantly be going back and forth from one side of campus to the other. We listened to one of our professors talk about linguistics, and then our Student to Student mentors (S2S), which are older students in the same program (major), showed us the buildings where our classes are and gave us tips for being successful, as this program I found out has one of the highest dropout rates. Nevertheless, they said if you can make it through the first six weeks you’re good to go.
I’m nervous about different aspects of the course than many of my fellow classmates. They’re all concerned with passing the programming part of the course, because computer science is not a common class taught in secondary schools (high schools) nor is it needed to pass the leaving certificate. I already am comfortable with the programming outlined in this year’s syllabus, so what I am concerned for is the French class, since I’ve only had technically one year of French and everyone else has been studying it since kindergarten. At least one of my roommates is French; hope she won’t get tired of me asking her for help! 🙂
We also had an international student orientation, which was helpful in reminding us everything we need to do to stay in the country and other requirements as international students. They also talked about the Irish language and cultural differences, and my American friends and I kept making knowing eye contact and saying things like “OMG that is so true! Hold on they forgot to mention…. wait yep, there it is, knew it!” It’s funny how such little things can stick out to people from other cultures. They talked about how the Irish don’t usually give direct answers, how they tend to swear more than the average person, how they can be very enthusiastic with their greetings, and so many more cultural differences that my American friends and I have noticed even before this presentation. They also mentioned a bit of the Irish language, and after trying to learn a few phrases, I can understand why it is not such a common language in this country. Pronunciation seems to have been thrown out the window! Here are some examples of what we learned:
|Good Morning||Maidin mhaith||Modjin mot|
|What is your name?||Cad is ainm duit?||Coad iss annim dwit?|
|Sean is my name||Sean is ainm dom||Sean is ann-imm dum|
|A hundred thousand welcomes!||Cead mile fáilte romhat!||Kade meela fail-cheh row-it|
|How are you?||Conas atá tu?||Cunn-us ah-taw two|
|I am good||Tá mé go mhaith||Taw may go mot|
Friday I didn’t have any orientation classes scheduled, so my friends and I used that day to familiarize ourselves a bit more with the campus and where our classes are. Some of our classes are in a building off campus across the street, so we figured out the best way to get there and how to actually get into the building (it was super confusing). We also spent what seemed like hours figuring out how to use the printers. Printing here is a lot more complicated than it has to be. You have to upload money onto your student card, make sure you use the right computers, upload what you want to print to a certain website that sends it to the printer, input a bunch of pin numbers so you can actually print, and if all goes correctly, you should have what you are hoping for. I had to print several things for my INIS appointment (bank statement, medical insurance, acceptance letter, proof of payment, blah blah blah blah) so learning to print as an international student is a priority. Thank you, Mom, for ordering me a printer for my dorm, because you saved my life from a year’s worth of printing hassle.
After spending a few hours with the printers, my friends and I decided to go see the Book of Kells at Trinity’s Long Room. The Book of Kells are illuminated illustrations of the Christian Gospels from around 800 AD, and they’re one of Trinity’s biggest tourist attractions. Fortunately, as students, we get in for free and get to skip the line, so we figured we should pop in and see one of the major things our school is famous for. However, it is not necessarily the book that is the main attraction, but the library in which it is stored. The library was build in the early 1700s, and it is one of the most beautiful and stunning libraries I have ever seen. The library was even the framework for the Jedi Archives in one of the Star Wars prequel films. My friends and I had listened to a very long, detailed lecture last week about the Book of Kells and its art until our ears bled, so we briefly looked over the tourists shoulders (“yep, that’s the book”) and then went straight into the library. It was awe-inspiring, and we’re so lucky that we can go in anytime we want. I definitely will be coming back soon!
After a busy day we were all pretty tired, so we came back home and relaxed. I did a thorough cleaning of my room, bathroom, and a bit of the kitchen, organized a bunch of papers and food coupons, and got the mail. Thanks Mom for sending me Halloween decorations and college-ruled spiral notebooks! That’s pretty much all I need right now. 🙂 Most of the Irish students had gone home for the weekend, so it was pretty quiet around Hall. My friends, French roommate, and I had a game night that evening with a game we bought earlier that day. Special thanks to my friend for bringing me her dinner leftovers because I was too lazy to cook. However, I did supply the bowl for the popcorn.
Now I’ve got the weekend to do any last minute things before school starts on Monday. I finally have my appointment with INIS (immigration/registration) this Saturday, and hopefully (fingers crossed), I have everything I need and got all the papers printed. Once this appointment is over a ton of weight will be lifted from my shoulders and I can finally start to focus on how I am going to pass my courses. Wish me luck, until next time!