It is the end of day two of classes here and already the weekend begins tomorrow! After the first few days in Dublin without class, it was not the smoothest of transitions into actually having school work to worry about– so much reading. Being an English major, I am well-prepared for the Irish Lit class, but I’ve been anxious for the Anthropology and Natural History (biology) of Ireland courses. Thankfully all of the material is extremely fascinating and the professors are great. I know I am going to thoroughly enjoy all three courses and gain a lot from them.
There have been two particularly notable moments the past two days. On Tuesday, the first day of class, we went to the National Museum of Ireland and received a guided tour on “Bog Bodies.” Our very knowledgeable guide, Jennifer, informed us that the water-logged Peat bogs found in Ireland have the ability to preserve organic materials due to a lack of oxygen, insects and bacteria in this soil. The most memorable (and slightly eerie) displays featured four human remains at varying levels of preservation. Everyone definitely was excited about this tour.
Another notable moment occurred while I was reading a short story for our Lit class, James Joyce’s “Two Gallants.” The story details two men conversing and walking about Dublin. As I read, I realized that I not only knew the location of the streets and places mentioned, but I had walked them hours earlier while exploring and shopping with friends. It was such a neat and satisfying recognition that I was able to vividly picture the scenery of the story because it is mere blocks from where we are staying!
Tomorrow morning we are going to the Natural History Museum of Ireland. The afternoon is filled with group meetings for anthropology and, hopefully, some more wandering around and relaxing in Dublin. With St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, the city is about to become super crowded and busy. We are all so excited to be able to join in the festivities! Cheers!