My first week of classes is in the books (points for an accidental pun)! It was actually done yesterday since I don’t have any Friday classes 🙂 In five weeks, I will complete one of my classes, or modules as they call them here, so I will be down to three classes and have both Tuesday and Friday off. On top of that, their semester is only 12 weeks compared to Purdue’s sixteen.
Classes themselves weren’t too bad; I am actually getting to take animal science classes! It will be a nice change of pace from the classes I have spent my last three semesters trudging through, such Organic Chemistry and Physics. There will be a few adjustments for me as far as class is concerned. Coming from a college with pretty much all 50 minute classes, I have to get used to being in class for 2 or 3 hours at a time. Also, since they don’t have a constant stream of homework and quizzes, I have to get used to independently studying as I go with nothing to prompt me. The classes grade weighs primarily on the final, with maybe a project or paper at some point in the term.
This week made me feel like I was reliving the first week of freshman year of college. I had to make sure to leave for class at least 30 minutes early because I had no idea where I was going. Triple checking my schedule even after I sit down to avoid the embarrassment of being in the wrong class and having to get up and leave (don’t worry I made it to the right place, and on time for every class!). I didn’t know anyone in my classes. I wasn’t sure whether it was socially acceptable to carry a backpack.
The best thing that happened this week in class had to be in my Animal Physiology class, when we were given a 20 minute coffee break in the middle of class. That’s my kind of class 🙂 We had enough time to casually walk to the student shop, grab what we wanted, and come back with time to spare. I also was able to meet some super nice girls that are in that class, so I now sort of know people I can sit with!
I do have another pretty great story from the week. I went to the huge library with escalators, to do a little reading for the archaeology class that I am no longer in. (Side story to that: it was a really interesting class, but many of the students were 40+ years old, which I just couldn’t get over. They also seemed to know a lot about how tools were cast and hammered in ancient times. I didn’t. So I switched to a class about Ireland, which was also interesting!) I was about to leave, when I realized that I didn’t have my phone. I looked at the two places I stopped in a library where it could have slipped out of my pocket and I didn’t find it either place. So, I asked the reception desk whether they had a phone turned in. One of the ladies pulled out a log book and said, “No, I ‘m sorry, I don’t think we have had one turned in today.” Just as I was about to turn around defeated, another lady who had just finished helping another student said “Wait! There was one turned in about two minutes ago!” Luckily, it was my phone! When I got it back, I checked everything out to see if anything had been messed with. The guy had just gotten on SnapChat and sent one of my friends a message saying to tell me where my phone was and also posted a selfie with the caption “Hope this person finds their phone.” I accidentally deleted it before a screen shot could be taken, which is upsetting because it made me laugh a lot.
Enough about school, now for the fun stuff! In my last blog, I mentioned that I was going to get my phone the next day. And as my last story suggests, I did end up getting a phone. Well, I did, but I made quite the journey to get it. I drew out a nice little map with instructions on how to walk there.
It was only supposed to take me 39 minutes to get there. It was a beautiful day and I like walking. No problem, right? Well…. they don’t exactly have their street names marked at all the intersections. You have to look really hard to find any sort of sign that will tell you what the street is, and that sign could be further down the road! So, I just kept wandering around by myself, having no clue where I was or how to get to where I was trying to go. I finally found stores that had Dundrum in their names, which is where I was supposed to be trying to go!
I even found my way to Main Street, which is where the phone shop was supposed to be. It took me wandering back and forth down long stretches of sidewalk, and asking two different people for guidance to find where exactly the phone place was. I found out from an extremely friendly man in the library that the phone store I was looking for had changed to a different provider, so it was under a different name, and it was on level one in the shopping centre! I have now rejoined the world of smartphones, which I will admit does make figuring out the bus routes so much easier. It didn’t, however, help me with getting back to campus because I didn’t have it set up yet. So, in the end this is the route I walked.
What was supposed to be 6.8 km round trip ended up being 9.5 km, which is 5.9 miles for those of us who aren’t familiar with the metric system.
I have been able to go into Dublin city centre twice, once to walk around at night with my roommates and once the next morning for church. I haven’t spent a great deal of time in the city, but Dublin isn’t intimidating to me. It doesn’t seem overly huge, and there is great architecture all throughout the city. The only thing that is slightly terrifying is that crosswalks are pretty much nonexistent. Even if there happens to be one there, people just pretty much go for it across the street without even waiting for the green walking man to light up. Walking by myself to church was really nice, because there were very few people out on Sunday morning, so it was peaceful. I left plenty of time to wander around, get a little lost, and take lots of pictures.
I found a great appreciation for getting lost. You can see so many neat things you would have missed otherwise had you stuck with the direct path. For example, when I got lost getting my phone, I got to walk through Goatstown, which actually has goats as their names suggests. I also found my way up a huge hill, where I could overlook Dublin. I was able to see my campus and far beyond!
Today, my roommate Kelly and I tried getting to Dundrum by bus. We learned to always be sure that you are taking the bus route in the right direction, since the buses don’t just go in loops like we are used to. However, it turned out to be perfectly fine because we got lost in Blackrock. We wandered along the shore, found a supermarket (which was our whole purpose for trying to go to Dundrum), and got to eat at a super cute cafe just off the water.
The only real problem we have faced so far since coming here is a lack of food. The campus residence we are staying at isn’t catered, which is a good thing for me. However, we had to live off of pretty much nothing for the first week since there isn’t a convenient and decently priced grocery store within walking distance. We finally got groceries delivered Tuesday! We are planning on rotating who makes dinner, so I kicked things off by making dinner Tuesday night. We had broccoli and Mac and Cheese, which we were able to eat off of for several meals. Then, Ali made stir fry yesterday. We are limited in what we can make since we don’t have an oven.
I just keep feeling more and more settled as time goes on. I now have a bank account set up in Ireland, since we have a bank on campus and now I won’t have to mess with having a U.S. debit card. My class schedule is solidified and I feel great about it. And as of today, I have my own personal food stash for breakfast and lunch.
If I get too settled in, I may just never come back to the states 🙂 (I don’t think my parents would be surprised) _______________________________________________________________________________
Random tidbits of Information:
-Laundry is super, super expensive. It costs 3 euro ($4.48) for a wash and 1.50 euro ($1.68) for drying. So, I will be putting that off for as long as possible.
-Bringing your own bag to stores is expected. I caught on to that pretty quickly, so I remembered to bring along a little tote bag today.
-Military time is used and dates are always written dd/mm/yyyy, which I still mess up.
-There are switches on many of the outlets so you can turn them on and off rather than unplugging your appliance to save electricity.
Ireland Bucket List:
-See sheep… maybe I will see them tomorrow on my Wicklow day trip. The closest I have gotten was the lamb on my plate the night I went into Dublin.
-Have an Irish coffee.
-Go to a Pub
Super cool words and phrases:
-Take-away instead of carry-out
-Notes instead of bills (money)
-Holiday instead of vacation
-“Brilliant!” for great
-“Whereabouts?” — the question I get asked when I say I am from the U.S. They can tell from my accent I am not from Ireland.
-“Chuck in the Bin” for throw in the trash
-The loo or just “toilets” for bathroom
-“Had it’s chips”… This was used in a lecture and I had to look it up. It means coming to it’s end or something along those lines.
-Waistcoat instead of vest. There is another word that is even cooler than waistcoat, but I forget… I will have to figure it out again.
-Crisps are chips and chips are french fries.