Archive for November, 2008

November 18, 2008

November 18th, 2008 by meemmi10

For those of you who despise, fear, or are anxious upon hearing the mention of STAR in relation to course selection time — DON’T!  Things are much different here at Trinity and I found that out the first week of October after my return from Prague.  Unlike STAR, where classes, lecturers, course locations and course times are all neatly and efficiently organized in one or two places (i.e. the course handbook- which says DO NOT LOSE – or secondly, the INTERNET) well, here at Trinity, you have to venture to each individual department, locate their announcements board and pray that there is some type of schedule up so you can figure out some type of course arrangement for yourself.  And its not schedule here – it’s called your timetable.  Needless to say, one of the first things I miss about Holy Cross is the convenience and STAR…haha.  So that first week of October included a lot of exercise, running around to each department, climbing stairs (thanks Holy Cross campus for preparing me for that!), and speaking with forgetful secretaries.  An example of a few of the departments I ventured to: zoology, neuroscience, French, religions & theology, philosophy, botany, and sociology, maybe more but anyway, you get the point.  And there were several visits to each department- so good to know I was getting fit during this process.  But even with a potential, fill-in-the-blank schedule, (sorry timetable!), these courses were still not definite and so the first week of classes was a bit more hectic than usual- there was some good and some not so good.  Promise to catch you up later this week.


November 12, 2008

November 12th, 2008 by meemmi10

So…next topic promised- PRAGUE!  Thanks to RyanAir and the few days of vacation before classes, a few friends and I ventured to the Czech Republic.  An interesting experience too, because I knew not one word of the language.  We left rainy Ireland and got to rainy, chilly Prague- but it was beautiful!  After our success in buying our tickets and using the super fast subway — we arrived at our stop- to find a Tesco! (This was exciting for us because its one of the common “food halls” or grocery stores here in Ireland too).  Our first stop was the center of Prague where we saw the famous Astronomical Clock.  It was great to just walk along the streets because they were small and narrow, but beautifully decorated!  The architecture in Prague is truly amazing.  Continuing along the streets that are filled with outdoor cafes and stands selling hot dogs, hot wine and cider – we stopped into a few craft shops- marionettes and children’s toys being quite popular- and cute!  Just roaming around, we came to a cathedral (our map said “sv. Jakub”) nothing special, but on the inside- it was sooo ornate and grand.

Another great site we visited was the Hill of Petrin.  There is actually a funicular that we could have taken to the top of the hill, but us Holy Cross girls climbed the hill as it was a great opportunity for photos and we saw the view of the beautiful city with all the red roofs.  At the top of the hill is the Petrin Tower — a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower- providing another great view.

Other places in Prague visited:
*The National Museum, the old Jewish Quarter, the Cathedral of the Child of Prague (which I found out in speaking to the locals here in Ireland- that most homes in Ireland have a Child of Prague statue- my friend said it’s a tradition kind of like the tradition we have with statues of Mary).

*Prague Castle.  It was so wonderful.  Within the confines of the castle are several cultural gems: Old Royal Palace, The Story of Prague exhibit, Basilica of St. George… (we got the student ticket! Getting us into everything!)  There were 2 art galleries (The National Gallery & Prague Castle Picture Gallery)  which I found really fascinating.  Some new artists I now love:  Bernaert de Rijckere and Lucas Cranach.  St. Vitrus’ Cathedral- also quite famous- had beautiful stained glass windows.

But, by far, my favorite part of Prague was St. Nicholas’ Church.  After crossing over the Vltava river on the famous Charles Bridge (where we bought some lovely souvenirs) we saw St. Nicholas’.  While it’s not too striking on the outside- I had read that it was a must see and thank goodness I did!  Everything in this cathedral was huge and gorgeous!  It was 2 levels; the ceilings had amazing frescoes of biblical scenes and several side altars dedicated to saints such as St. Joseph, St. Michael, and there was an altar dedicated as  The Altar of the Holy Cross.  The style of this church is a result of the high Baroque architecture at the time, but its opulence, immense marble statues, gold, and stained glass were truly impressive.  It felt truly sacred.

With Prague Castle as our last stop and passing the National Theater on our way back home- I felt our trip was complete.  And one of the best things about getting back to Dublin?  It felt like home.  It was great to explore a new place for a bit- but the feeling of coming back to the home base- which at this point in my life is Dublin- was, well, really cool.
Stay tuned for upcoming details about the few days before classes, Freshers week, and how classes have been going!


Dail tour and prague and mom dad oct 121
Dail tour and prague and mom dad oct 172
Dail tour and prague and mom dad oct 146
Dail tour and prague and mom dad oct 198

November 4, 2008

November 4th, 2008 by meemmi10

From the moment we arrived here in Ireland, a popular initial question (in addition to where are you from in the States?) was: "How do you feel about the election?"  There is not a day that goes by that we don't hear about it from the people, it's often in papers here, and there is a huge Obama support.  Often times, when speaking with the locals, this has been said: "We look to you in America.  Where you go, we will follow."  It was great to hear and I was actually surprised.  I think the Irish will be happy here this morning to hear about Obama  because that's the candidate anyone and everyone mentioned here.  As we lack a TV in my apartment, we were tracking on the Internet and wound up at at friend's place who had a TV and watched bit.  I got my absentee ballot late, so I voted via the FWAB.  Its funny, I feel so connected, yet at the same time not connected to this election.  I am excited for a new President, but it almost doesn't feel real because we are not home.