Happy Thanksgiving, merry Christmas, and many holiday wishes as we get closer to the end of the semester! It has been such a crazy past few weeks, there is so much to do in getting ready for the end of the semester and Christmas holiday. Unfortunately, all exams here are at the end of the year, even for one semester classes (although it is changing next year), so I still have to make sure I study for my modules that will be ending in the next couple weeks. Nevertheless, that means I have not been stressed with midterms and have been able to carry on with my assignments as usual.
It was a little saddening to not be able to see my friends and family over Thanksgiving break (which doesn’t exist here, obviously), but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get to celebrate! My two American friends and I were determined to go full out, and we planned what we were going to make for weeks. We spent almost all day before Thanksgiving prepping and cooking food. A few of our international friends wanted to join in on the experience, so they offered to bring dishes as well. Thanksgiving evening we all got together and ate so much food! I wasn’t brave enough to get and cook a real turkey (especially with our unpredictable oven), but I managed to find a frozen turkey breast at Aldi, which worked perfectly well. We also had mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, bread, pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, and probably more food that I can’t remember at the moment. It was a really fun evening, and the leftovers meant that I didn’t have to cook for days.
A few weeks ago was the annual turning on the lights on Grafton street. Grafton street is decorated with hundreds of lights and decorations, and there is always a big gathering the evening that they officially switch them on. This year in particular they also had a mini parade, which was fun to watch as well. The lights are very nice and really bring the holiday spirit; it’s a lot of fun to walk by them on my way to and from Trinity, and it gets dark here so early (4:09 today!) that they’re almost always on.
Last weekend Frenchie and I really wanted to decorate our flat, so we went with my American friends to go buy a few Christmas decorations. My Irish flatmates also brought some decorations from home and a mini Christmas tree. We sang carols and baked cookies and had a grand old time hanging up lights and snowflakes. Our flat decided to do a secret santa (along with my American friends, who practically live in our flat anyway), so we’re really excited to start seeing gifts placed under the tree.
Also last week I got to see one of my friends from high school, which was really nice. She had been studying abroad for the semester in Switzerland, and she and a few of her friends decided to come to Dublin for the weekend. I showed them around Trinity and got them in free to see the Book of Kells. Afterwards we got doughnuts and walked around Grafton street. It was a sweet, short visit, and it made both of us really happy to see someone from home.
The other day everyone in our flat got an email that we were requested to meet with the head warden, but it was a very cryptic email and all of us were freaking out because we didn’t know what we had done wrong. We thought maybe it was because we borrowed a table from upstairs for our Thanksgiving, but there’s no way they could have known about that. We waited outside her office anxiously for about ten minutes before she brought us in. The meeting lasted about forty-five seconds, and it turned out all she wanted to see was our faces because she had caught people smoking and wasn’t sure where they lived. We went back home and had a mini non-eviction party to celebrate our innocence.
The next couple weeks are hopefully going to fly by quickly! I’ve got a major computing assignment due soon, but thankfully I was able to finish a little bit of it this weekend. I’ve also got my essay for linguistics (on whether or not people think differently based on the language they speak), and I’ve got a maths test coming up too. So I’ve got lots to keep me busy, but soon enough I’ll be home and ready to spend the holidays with friends and family. I can’t wait; hang in everyone, we’re almost there!