Lads, don’t worry. I survived Hurricane Ophelia. (Or the great trampoline migration of 2017, as it has come to be known.) Last weekend Ireland buckled down and got ready for the enormous storm that would be hitting on Sunday. The bread and alcohol aisles at the supermarkets were completely wiped, and everyone began to get ready for an intense day of wind and rain. Everyone was prepared, everyone waited, and then we were told that the storm was over. It was literally sunny all day, albeit a bit more rain and wind than usual. Even though Dublin barely had any damage, the west of Ireland got hit a bit harder, so schools nationwide were closed on Monday. This was great, as I got an extra day to do all the studying I had procrastinated that weekend. (Who has time to do homework when you have to decorate for Halloween and watch Halloween movies?) We were all hoping school was going to be cancelled on Tuesday as well, as all primary and secondary schools in the country were, but unfortunately universities weren’t forced to oblige. Sadly, the Luas was having electrical problems and didn’t run that day, so I walked to school. My classmates think I’m absolutely nuts for walking all the way from Rathmines, but I enjoy the walk, especially since the weather has been so nice lately.
Tuesday evening my Singaporean friend and I went to an Irish dance class, as part of the DU dance society. It was really fun, and we learned a lot! The studio was a bit too small for all of us, (I had even read an article in the school paper that morning about dance not having enough space…), but we all managed to jump and kick without hitting anyone, for the most part. We learned an Irish reel and danced in groups of four. For the dance we learned, you danced in front of your partner and ended up switching spaces with the pair next to you, and this chain kept going on throughout the dance until you had danced with every pair in the room. We also learned a few steps and did them across the floor. Having clogged before, I found the quick footwork easy to pick up, but the style was really different and fun to figure out. In clogging there is a lot of rocking back and putting your feet behind you. In Irish, however, I found a lot of the steps rock forward instead, so it was a challenge at first to remember to switch my weight from back to front. The class was both really fun and exhausting, and maybe I’ll go to another one if they offer one anytime soon.
Thursday evening one of my American friends and I killed a little time after school then went to an event for the Hispanic society that evening. The society was having a wine tasting for different Hispanic wines around the world. One of the society member’s grandmother, who is a certified wine taster (I don’t know the technical term for that), explained the history of different red and white wines, coming mostly from Spain, Argentina, and Chile. She taught us the process of making the different wines and how to best taste them. It was a really fun event, and we learned a lot. My friend liked the Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, while I liked the Albariño from Galicia. Afterwards my friend and I went home and caught the end of a Diwali celebration at Halls, which is a Hindu festival of lights. Our Indian friends were dressed up and explained to us the festival’s traditions.
Other than all of these events going on, I’ve been kept very busy with school as well. On Thursday I had my first French oral presentation, where I had to present to the class facts about the French region Nouvelle-Aquitaine (New Aquitaine). Most of the class ended up skipping that day, so it was pretty much just me and the students who are basically already fluent. I think it went well though, guess I’ll see next week. Oral French is probably my hardest module, but fortunately my French roommate is more than happy to help me with anything I need.
Our course is really lucky in that we have S2S mentors (2nd year students in the same degree) who organized tutorial sessions once a week for us. This is about an hour dedicated to anything that we might be having trouble with. There are only three of us in my group, but the other two didn’t show up this week, so I got a nice one on one with my two mentors. We went over my math homework and planned to do some oral French for next week. These sessions are great ways to get inside tips and advice on modules that students in the same degree program have already taken. There are so many opportunities offered to students here, and I’m glad that I am able to partake in them.
This week was also free societies week, so all the society events were free in hopes to gain the interest of new members. The drama society was putting on a production of Power Rangers: the Musical (Not a Musial). Of course we had to go, and it was definitely worth the half hour of my in-between class time. It was one of those plays that was purposefully so bad that it was hilarious. The actors would start to forget their lines or giggle throughout the performance, making the audience laugh along with them. And the songs… well let’s just say they had some throughout the play. But we all know that Power Rangers are superheros, not musicians.
We don’t really have many plans for this upcoming weekend. My French roommate and I started a list of all the things we want to do over the weekends, since everyone else tends to go home. There are a couple of (free!) museums that we want to check out, and there are a lot of parks and gardens around that we want to see too, as long as it doesn’t rain too much. We’re supposed to have another “storm” this weekend, so we might just end up having a movie marathon. Gotta get used to that rain, it’s coming now and it’s going to stay! Until next time, stay dry!