Monday, May 14, 2012

Dublin Zoo, National Leprechaun Museum, and Dun Laoighaire

Greetings everyone!

First, a belated Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers reading this. Every Mother's Day, my family, Nanny and Great Aunt travel to our golf club for a brunch. I was really bummed that I had to miss this day! I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day and spent sometime with their loved ones, if possible!

The weeks are flying by here - I can't believe I only have 4 weeks left! My parents and sister are coming to visit in just under 3 weeks...that leaves just two weekends left before they get here! It's crazy how fast time flies. With that said, I am missing my family and friends so much! I never really thought about how long 8 weeks is. This trip has really made me appreciate the ones I love, and realize how many wonderful people I have in my life. Thanks for everyone taking the time to read this! I really enjoy being able to keep in touch with everyone through this blog.

Up-date about St. Aidan's:

I only have three weeks left at St. Aidan's and I can't believe that! I still feel like there is so much I'd like to do to help, and leave my mark here. Currently, the tasks I am enjoying the most are working with small groups of students. My one group is made up of 6, fifth year students. They are 16 years old. I really have enjoyed working with them and revising their algebra skills with them daily. I have found it really interesting how they learn algebra versus how we teach it in America. Even a lot of the most common terms are different between the school systems. It's fun learning the differences in our vocabulary terms and teaching practices. It makes for a good time having to first understand what my students are talking about, to then be able to help them. Being here has really helped me to become a well-rounded educator and understand how vital it is for teachers to be flexible and relate to students as much as possible! For instance, when doing word problems with them, in America I would usually talk about football or baseball. But, here those sports are not the most popular. Hurling is one of the most popular sports. So, I had to understand what this game was, to be able to use it in word problems! I am hoping to make it to a hurling match before I leave!

There is also one student who is going to America this summer to play soccer. The program he is a part of requires him to take the SAT's. I just started working with him last week but I have really enjoyed this part of my experience. Being in Ireland, no one really knows what the SAT's are. I feel fortunate enough to have come at this time to tutor this student to get him on track for getting the score he needs to get to America!

On Friday of this week there aren't going to be any classes because St. Aidan's is having their annual Sport's Day. Sport's Day is basically like field day. There are activities and events for students to participate in. It is my hopes that I get to help out with the events or maybe even get to participate in some of them! I am very excited for Friday!

Now to update about my weekend.

This past weekend I stayed in Dublin, but took advantage of a beautiful weekend to see the local attractions. It seems that during the week it pours constantly but then the weekends are bright and sunny. I am completely okay with this ha ha!

On Friday, Claire (my host mom), Jessie, and I went to Claire's brother's pub. Jessie and I have been begging her to take us there because we really wanted to meet more of her family. Unfortuantely, her brother was not there on Friday, but we did get to meet two of her sisters. Claire is part of a huge family. She has 14 brothers and sisters, so it is nice I get to meet any of them.

On Saturday, Anna (another student teacher from PSU in the program) and I went to the Dublin Zoo. The Dublin Zoo is located in Phoenix Park, one of the largest parks enclosed recreational parks in Europe. The zoo was fun, except most of the animals were sleeping!

On Saturday, we also went to the National Leprechaun Museum. As silly as this sounds, it was actually an awesome museum. The museum was a tour-based experience. The tour guide lead us through the museum, telling us tales and folklores of fairies and leprechauns. Did you know that leprechauns didn't even wear green in traditional tales? They looked more like dwarfs, with red caps, and overalls. It wasn't until the 1950's when Walt Disney made the movie Darby O'Gill and the Little People, that leprechauns got portrayed this way! I thought that was really interesting. Anyways, the whole museum was set up as different rooms - there was a giant people's room, wishing well room, pot of gold room, etc. I would definitely recommend this museum if you're ever in Dublin!

On Sunday, I traveled to Dun Laoighaire to visit Anna's town. Dun Laoighaire is a coastal town with a yacht club and located on the Irish Sea. It was beautiful! Although it took nearly an hour to get there by bus, it was well worth it.

With that said, with every new place I travel to, I think about how I will never see those sites again. It really makes me appreciate my time in Ireland and to see as much as possible. With its green landscapes and historical towns and buildings, I know I will miss the gorgeous views when I leave.

Below are some pictures from this past weekend:

Claire's brother's pub - Smyths


Phoenix Park/Dublin Zoo:

Wellington Monument

Headquarters of the Irish Defense Forces

National Leprechaun Museum:

A very BIG chair - part of the giant's room (all the furniture was large so we would feel small)

Dun Laoighaire:

There was an outdoor gym! (This one's for you Bryan)

People were swimming!! No big was only in the high 40's. 

Me on a pile of huge rocks in the middle of the sea!

Thanks for reading!!

Until next week,

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