Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nowhere Else On Earth

[It is really hard to come up with an appropriate song-lyric title when there's no clear theme to the post. I was actually hoping to save this one for something else, but I got stuck.]

Confession #1: As of Wednesday and Thursday, I was still catching myself watching out for snakes. The only places I've ever hiked that weren't copperhead country are Arizona and Belize, both of which have even more snakes to watch out for than the East Coast does. It's ingrained.

Confession #2: I can't stop listening to The Chieftains while riding around the countryside. Which seems like a very cheesy-American-tourist thing to be doing. But the other day it just happened to work out such that I was listening to their awesome rendition of the rather eerie instrumental tune "Dunmore Lassies" as the bus was approaching the Cliffs of Moher, and it ended just as we pulled into the parking lot. (Sorry, "car park".) It was perfect.

Confession #3 (and Frustration #1): I still don't know what classes I'm taking starting Monday. Two of the Celtic Lit classes I was really dying to take are offered second semester this year instead of first, which is extremely disappointing. I think I was looking forward to The Mabinogi more than to more archaeology classes. So that's a bummer. Meanwhile, the two archaeology classes I was the most excited about not only present conflicts, they conflict with each other. Story of my life. And archaeology classes are a pain to schedule around other subjects anyway, because the archaeology department operates on quarters instead of semesters, which on the one hand is nice but on the other hand is evil because it means they meet more times during the week than classes in most other departments. And since classes here don't follow organized schedules the way they do at American universities (e.g. instead of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 a.m., you might get Monday at 9, Tuesday at 3, and Thursday at 1, or Tuesday at 10 and Wednesday from 2-4, or... you see my point), the potential for conflict is maximized because you might have two classes that avoid each other for the whole week except for one day when they're both at the same time.

I can only assume this is less of a pain in the ass for Irish students, who are locked into a particular program and don't really get to play around in other departments.

I'll update about my final field trip soon. I've been trying to get uploading pictures to work (Frustration #2), which is also a giant pain because something about the proxy settings on UCC's network is preventing me from successfully using Facebook's iPhoto application (or at least, that's the only explanation I can come up with for why it doesn't work), so I have to take my laptop to somewhere where I can pick up the wireless signal from the apartment complex's common room. And on top of this, Facebook has been doing screwy things like magically losing an entire albums' worth of pictures, or managing to publish the pictures but erasing all my tags. Yesterday I couldn't even successfully delete an album to start over again after it screwed up. It's ridiculous. But I've got one of two summer albums up now, and after the second one I can finally get to work on pictures of Ireland. (My OCD requires that I go in chronological order.)

I guess this is kind of a boring post, even more than usual. Sorry about that.

Tomorrow is the Gaelic Football ( final, Cork vs. Down. It's a big deal, obviously. I think I like Gaelic Football, to the extent that I like watching any sport. It's exciting. But it's pretty confusing. It's like soccer and American football happening simultaneously, complete with two different scores for each team depending on which part of the soccer goal/field goal hybrid they get the ball into. But the important thing is that Cork is playing, and I'm here. I will probably never forget what it was like to be in France when they almost won the 2006 World Cup. I'd been in the country for all of I think 12 hours when I saw my first match, and suddenly I was French. This is not even close to being on the same level of excitement, but still. It's still exciting, and I'm still looking forward to the possibility of feeling a little local solidarity.

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