October 31, 2008

After that first week of running around, the start of the second week of classes (3rd week of October) was already in full swing.  Mondays are the busiest day starting with Estuarine Ecology (following later in the semester by Marine Biology), Sociology lecture and tutorial, French, followed by a break then Philosophy and finishing the day with my Irish language class.

One thing a lot of us have to get used to is the time table here.  A lot of classes are later on in the day and I’ve noticed the Irish students study more during the day – there’s hardly a free library spot in the afternoons!  This is different for most of us at Holy Cross where we have a lot of classes throughout the whole day and study at Dinand at night.  I’ll not bore you with my full timetable but other courses I’m taking in this term are neurophysiology and introduction to neuroscience (yea, bio-premed! — It’s always interesting to explain to my Irish classmates how our system works at HC and then how I’ve managed to squeeze into most of the departments here at Trinity).

It’s been an experience getting books here too at Trinity Library—not to be confused with The Old Library that holds The Book of Kells.  TCD students have access to 3 libraries (called “BLU”): Berkley, Lecky, and Ussher Libraries which are all connected.  Only some books here are on loan and sometimes all the multiple copies are taken out- so you make due- and I’ve found that since most Irish students go home on the weekends, its best to get those needed books on the weekends.

Getting closer to the end of October, I had a few friends visit which was great because I showed them around Dublin: St. Stephen’s Green, The National Gallery and even took a tour of Dublin Castle — which I’d never done.  It was beautiful, the rooms with the elegant carpets and drawing room with mirrors at the floor- called “petticoat mirrors.”  After enjoying lovely Grafton Street we wound up at my favorite tea spot, Avoca Cafe right near the Molly Malone statue.  My favorite night was going to one of my favorite pubs- The Quay’s Bar- where there’s great food and great music.  We sang with the live music and had a blast.  We also went to catch some traditional Irish music at O’Neils.

The last week of October- can’t believe its going by sooo fast!  Trinity Student’s Union organizes every week and being Halloween week there was much to do.  Halloween actually date’s back to the Celts ancient festival of Samhain.  Another fun fact — a special treat during Halloween, which friends and I bought, is called Brack.  It’s similar to our fruit cake at Christmastime, but in my opinion it’s much better.  Also, if you read Joyce’s short story “Clay” in Dubliners, you’ll read of some of the Irish Halloween traditions.  Places all over Dublin have events and costume nights for Halloween.  So we went dancing one night where I was “Sandy” from Grease.  The next night friends and I celebrated again, this time we were a group of 80s girls.  A really fun event was held by the Science Gallery at Trinity, there was face painting, food, movies, and a guy walking around with a snake!  At the time, the neuroscience exhibit was going on, so my classmate who works there showed me one of the demos.  Really it was no demo—but a Halloween trick.  He had me perform this test on a computer and while I was focusing on the screen, a face popped up and screamed.  I screamed, he laughed, but it was hilarious!  There was even a parade and fireworks in Temple Bar Halloween night.  (A friend from Rome stopped by too, its funny how while your abroad, friends just pop up!).

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