So I have now undergone a week of classes, and I’m feeling really great about it. Perhaps partly because three of my five classes don’t start until next week, but you know. I’m still killing it. From what I’ve seen so far, the Irish school system is much more relaxed than its American counterpart. Of the two classes I’ve had so far, one will have a midterm exam in the middle of the semester and one final paper, and the other will have a final paper that the entire grade rests upon. I can tell who the Americans are in each of my classes, because they’re the ones who show up to class 10 minutes early with their hands clasped over their notebooks expectantly. The Irish students and professors start trickling in on the hour or a few minutes past it. I thought that accents might be a barrier, but my professors have been perfectly understandable. What I have noticed though is that all of the Irish students take notes in pen. Their confidence is unnerving. Also unnerving: the reading lists here. The professors pass out two reading lists: a primary one (required) and a secondary one (recommended). Each list easily has fifteen riveting titles like The Politics of Ireland: 1798-1998. I’m not entirely sure how one goes about tackling the lists, but I’ll figure it out. A more fun fact is that no classes start before 10 am and most of mine don’t have starting times before noon, which means I don’t have to wake up to an alarm! I’ve also discovered two on-campus pubs. There may be more. For every coffee shop in Oregon there is a pub here.
I also went to Clubs and Societies Day, and signed up for Orienteering, which means I’ll be given a map with a few obscure points on it that I’m supposed to find around Cork and other parts of Ireland and take a picture of. I also signed up for sailing (“Do I have to have any experience?” “Nope.” “Great, sign me up”) and film. I can also go to different events even if I’m not a member, which is cool. Meetings will be held in pubs.
It started raining here last night for the first time since I’ve lived in Cork, but it’s supposed to stop tomorrow when Alison, Norah and I go to Killarney. I don’t know a lot about Killarney, but I think there are some quaint shops among imposing castles, so it should be pretty rad! That’s all for now, but I’ll let you know how I’m doing when the rest of my classes start up!
Cheers, (<— I’m so Irish!)