"May the Force Be With You"-- even in Ireland!

Published: May 20th 2005
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I can't believe my semester here is almost over! I can't say it's gone by quickly because I've done quite a lot, but I don't think I'm ready to leave just yet! I am very much looking forward to seeing my family and friends again-- you don't realize just how much you've really missed them until you realize you'll soon have the chance to see them again-- but I also realize I will miss the friends I have made here! So, I think it will be hard to say good-bye and go back to a life where I can't hop on a plane and go to Copenhagen for the weekend, and it will be hard to leave some of these people knowing quite likely I'll never see some of them again. However, life goes on, and I know loads of fun and a myriad of wonderful life experiences await me even in North/South Carolina. It may not be as exotic for me there as it is here in good 'ole Ireland, but I think it might be nice to get back to "normal"--at least that's what I'll say until I build up my savings account again!

Well, so I'm rambling again. This is my second to last weekend here, and contrary to the trend so far and contrary to my promise to my father to travel every weekend, this weekend I'm staying put. I don't have the excuse of taking a Saturday exam (I already had two-- Wed. and today-- one more next Friday!), but I do have the excuse of spending time with a number of friends who will be leaving this coming week-- some as early as Monday. It makes me sad to say good-bye-- who knows if anyone will keep in touch?-- but I'll cherish the time we spent together here on the Emerald Isle. Next weekend... well, I'll be moving out. But the plan after that is to go to Paris for a couple days with my travel buddy Chris before we split ways, Chris going to Dublin to meet a friend and me going to Bordeaux to meet Virginie, my French pen pal with whom I've been writing letters since sixth grade. It will be the first time we've actually met face-to-face, so it should be fun, I think. She told me she's a little rusty on her English, so we'll see how that communication goes! I know no French, unfortunately, so it might be a little difficult. But it will be terrific to meet her and see some of France either way!

My exams have been pretty easy and paper grades have turned out better than I thought. One more exam and one more paper due, and then it's good-bye to another semester! I'm really glad I took the classes I did-- I learned so much about Ireland and it's culture, I'm almost an expert now! Okay, so not really, but ask me anything on Yeats, Heaney, contemporary Irish writers, some folklore, and most traditional music, and I should have an answer. And then ask me to tell you about my travels-- well, don't even get me started on that unless you want to be listening to me blabber for a few hours. And that won't even scratch the surface of my interactions with international students-- one of the most amazing experiences I've had while here! At least I know that when I'm in Europe next time, I might have a few more beds I can crash on if the need arises!

And speaking of international friends, I had quite a cultural experience last night! I went to the newest Star Wars film with three Americans (Rose, James, and Kelly), a Dutch gent (Chris), and a German guy (Alex). Now THAT is culture, my friends. Anyway, it was quite a fun experience, not the least reason being that it was FREAKIN' STAR WARS! And, amazingly, I actually thought that this one was pretty good. I'm still skeptical whether it lives up to the originals, but I was so happy that it was leaps and bounds better than Episodes I and II that I was in geek heaven. Like, really. Fortunately, the folks I went with are somewhat geeky, too (and that's a compliment, by the way!). It's great that you can find Star Wars/scifi fans even in Ireland!

One more order of business to update before getting back to living it up in Ireland-- I got new flatmates! Yes, again. The Spanish people moved out a couple weeks ago, and Cliona and I got two new Irish roommates-- Ian and Justin. They're really nice and quite funny, so I've enjoyed getting to know them better. They also have another Irish friend who comes over a lot named Liam, and he just adds to the chaos and hilarity. So, it's great fun in 21 Avignon (my house!) despite all the changes. Too bad we'll all be moving out in the next couple weeks!

Okay, enough for me. More living (and paper-writing) to do. Oh, and enjoy the new pics I added on some previous entries!


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