My Evil Housemate

Do you want to annoy me?  If so, here’s how: #1 prevent me from sleeping. #2 wake me up when I’m asleep.  My lovely housemate could conceivably make a career out of it.  Lucky me!  Over the past few weeks, she’s been allowing the hall door to slam shut each time she walks in or out and has taken up screaming on Skype until 1 or 2AM as a passionate hobby.  Up until last night, I’ve kept my cool and let it go.  I’ve tried to drown out her cackling laugh and megaphone volume conversations with my iPod.  Last night was finally going to be the last straw when she and her boyfriend burst into our campus apartment at 3AM “whispering” at the decibel of a marching band.

Per my routine, I relaxed my tensely balled fists and started on my yoga breathing while reaching out of my blankets for my iPod.  After counting to ten many, many times so I wouldn’t go crashing into her room like the Tasmanian Devil, I turned on my music, rolled over, and attempted to fall asleep.  Unfortunately, I could still hear her shrieks, so I upped the volume of my music, which was now adding injury to my ear drums all because I could still hear her talking.  I dozed off for a while only to be re-awoken by the boyfriend stomping back and forth down the hallway allowing the door right out side mine to crash shut: not once, not twice, but SIX times (yes, I counted)!  When his presumably restless leg syndrome (or maybe just asshole syndrome) quieted down, I thought it was finally their bed time, and I fell back asleep.  How silly was I to think that would be the end of their night!  Well, when my eyes flew open at 4:50AM from Sara Barellies blasting from her laptop speakers, I was in no mood to write her a “Love  Song”.  So, I fumbled for my spectacles (I just like that word) and raced for the door, knocking on her’s one millisecond later (I can be really fast when I want, just ask my mom).  In my angry, yet curiously drowsy state, I gave her a few harsh lines and a couple of finger shakes too.  I’m happy to report I slept soundly for the next three hours, until I had to get up for class at 8.  What a great night’s sleep (Yawn).  While my family members who try to preach me the bible will probably tell me I should keep forgiving her, I cannot “forgive those that trespass against” my beauty sleep!  Y’all know I need it!

And if someone shows YOU this blog post, please don’t punch me; I already I have enough facial stitches for one semester.  But if you never read this, let the games begin, baby!

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Jealous of my Flip Phone?

The second day after my AerLingus plane touched down in ShannonAirport two months ago (though it feels like a year, and also a day at the same time), a group of International Students all went into Limerick to buy the essentials we couldn’t pack with us.  While I now say this with a confident nonchalance of assuming I know my way around the city, on this trip, we really had no clue where we were going, funny how things change.  Most of the group bought “pay as you go phones” to contact each other while we’re here.  I planned to get the cheapest phone available, knowing its expiration date was about four months, and not wanting to spend any money I didn’t have to.  All ten of us that bought phones got the exact same flip phone that looked like this, except silver:

No camera, no internet, no features, no touch screen, no music, the only game is Sudoku (which is a plus), but there isn’t even a clock on the outside!  Needless to say, it was a slight change from my iPhone!  Those first few days of all hanging out together and using our “new phones” was pretty funny for a couple of reasons.  Because there isn’t an ability to take pictures for a personalized background, we had to choose from about 10 selections.  There also is a limited number of ringtones.  This meant that every time a text tone would go off or vibrate, nearly everyone had to flip open their phone and check if it was theirs or not.  Amanda had the creative idea of buying foam letter stickers for the front, so we were finally able to tell them apart by looking at them.  For students primarily owning smart phones, it was like we all stepped back in time.  And the only numbers saved in the phone-book were the ones that came with the phone for customer service and the handful of friends I had made in Ireland.  I have to admit though, that not having my phone attached to my palm the past two months has been somewhat relaxing.  When I’m hanging out on campus with my friends, I don’t even take it with me sometimes, because I’m already with the only people who would normally text me!  I’m going to attempt to continue the easy-going phone vibe I’ve adopted here, but when I come back to the US, don’t quote me on that!

Nerd Herd Storms Dublin!

Themes of the weekend: museums, rain, and walking!

I’ll try keep this short and sweet: Saturday I trekked to Dublin with some members of the Literary Society I joined at the beginning of the year to see the museums I missed last time I was there!  We hit the Writers Museum first which was fantastic!!!  The audio tour information coincided perfectly with all the Irish writers I’m learning about in my Irish Literary Revival module!  Original copies of “Dracula”, “Untilled Fields”, “Playboy of the Western World”, “Ulysses” and others were all on display!  With the cell phone styled personal audio tour, we got to listen to James Joyce reading an excerpt from “Finnigan’s Wake”.  Abbey Theatre flyers, letters written by my favorite Oscar Wilde, original typewriters, manuscripts, etc. were all set up beautifully throughout the mansion/museum– it’s definitely recommended for anyone interested in Irish Lit.  We then took a train to the James Joyce tower, arriving through the wind and rain just before closing!  There we walked around the tower and room in which he slept and based the beginning of “Ulysses” on.  Later that night, we hung out at a pub called The Duke and made friends in the hostel.

Today, another girl on the trip Lisa and I were the only ones that woke up early enough for breakfast.  At the same time, there was a crowd of people around the TV watching the Rugby World Cup which was New Zealand V. France.  It was interesting to see people from all different countries, speaking all different languages and all interested in the same sport!  After a mid-morning nap, we had tons of free time.  We were able to leave our backpacks in a locker in the hostel, which was fantastically convenient.  After browsing around O’Connell Street and Grafton Street, we made our way to the National Library.  There we explored the WB Yeats exhibit on display.  I’ve loved learning about all the writers I’m reading in my Irish Lit course; seeing the history behind their lives makes their work so much more meaningful.  We also got a look around the National Photographic Institute where they had a display on Irish Children from the 1900s.  Lisa from Germany and Natalie from Poland and I spent the afternoon browsing around the streets and had delicious lunch at The Quays restaurant in the Temple Bar district.

This was my first weekend trip where I was the only American in the group (1 Polish girl, 1 German girl, and 6 Irish students).  I think I really got a great multicultural experience through many conversations about lifestyle, educations, interests, norms, experiences, traveling, etc.  from some European views without being influenced by a large group of American ears.  It was truly awesome making the friends I did this weekend!

Little Fish, Big Ocean

First off: a shout out to everybody who’s been reading my blog and creeping me on Facebook while I’ve been abroad! Even though I’m having the time of my life here, I really miss everyone at home, and I can’t wait to be back in Connecticut for Christmas and back up at Springfield in January <3! My semester in Limerick is nearly exactly half way through, and there are tons of huge trips planned for the rest of October, November, and December, so STAY TUNED :D

So far, the toughest part of my experience studying and living here at U. Limerick is the size of the university– my lectures all consist of approx. 200 kids. Walking into full auditoriums and realizing this is where my classes are held is actually mind-blowing. Seymour is no mammoth town, and with 2,500 kids at SC, I can easily walk the five or ten minutes to class and say “hey” to between 10 and 20 people. Being on a large campus such as this, with 12,000 students, I get excited to see a single friendly face on my 20 minute strolls to lectures. It’s nearly impossible to meet people in lecture, so I’m lucky I started off the semester by finding good friends. Granted, I know a large piece of that is because I’m essentially a first year, but after two years of being conditioned at Springfield, it’s quite a change.

At Springfield, the only lecture course I’ve taken was General Chemistry, also my largest class, with a size of 60 students. As I’ve finished my Gen. Ed. requirements, my class sizes have generally gotten smaller– with the extreme example of my fantastic “Social Justice-Film-Journalism” course last spring with Professor Santos, consisting of only seven other students. Developing personal relationships with my professors over my two years at SC is something I’m proud of, yet took for granted. At Springfield, by halfway through the semester, my professors know more about me than they probably want to, as I’m popping into each of their offices with questions or whatever at least once a week. Even being in Week 7 of my semester here, I don’t think any of my lecturers or tutorial leaders know my name. I have only had a handful of meaningful conversations with them in total. Additionally, at a large university it seems the value of individual education is extremely decreased. Because attendance is not taken in lecture, and selectively in tutorial, the message that we as students are numbers, and literally nobody cares if you choose to attend classes is widespread.

Building off the cliché “there are plenty of fish in the sea”, I’ve come to the conclusion there are too many fish in this enormous University of Limerick sea! Needless to say, I miss my cozy private college and can’t wait to get back into the Humanities and Education Depts at Springfield!

I’m off to the Dublin Museums with the UL Literary Society in the morning, have a good weekend!