Tag Archives: United States

Let’s talk about the weather.

14 Aug

When I was in Ireland for my summer study abroad program earlier this summer, I took an Irish language class that met twice a week. I was hoping to learn some Irish phrases so that I could come back to the States and impress my friends and family with some Irish, or maybe an accent. Unfortunately, I came back with neither. However, I did learn one interesting thing: The Irish love to talk about the weather. One of my language professors said that in Ireland it’s typical to spend about 15 or 20 minutes every day just talking about the weather, as if it is as important as something that happened at work or an interesting conversation you overhead while standing in line at the grocery store. I found the importance of the weather as a conversation piece very interesting mainly because that’s not how the topic of weather is viewed in the States.

Here if someone brings up the weather as a conversation topic, they’ve done it for 2 reasons: 1. The conversation is so boring or awkward that they’ve settled for discussing the weather or 2. Something big is happening in terms of the weather (i.e there’s a severe storm coming their way or it’s been unseasonably hot). Normally, I think that if the weather is brought up as something to genuinely discuss, the conversation has already been shot to hell. However, imagine how things would change if we put the same emphasis on the topic of the weather as the Irish do. Though we normally view the topic of the weather as a mundane discussion, taking the time to actually sit down and comment on the weather could help us slow down a little bit. It could give us a break, even a small one, to discuss something that seems as simple as brushing our teeth in the morning. When I was in Ireland, I noticed the slow and overall relaxed nature of the Irish. They don’t rush. If the bus is 15 minutes late, it’s not a big deal. The earliest classes begin at 9am rather than 8am. However, forbid them to go into their favorite pub as soon as they get off work at 5pm, and you’ve got trouble.

I know that if I took a few minutes every day to talk about (or at least observe) the weather, it would be a daily reminder to slow down. Though I know that it is a common saying to “Stop and smell the roses,” how many of us really stop and take the time to notice the little things? Maybe today each one of us could try to connect to our Irish roots (that we may or may not have) so that we can be reminded to take things just a little bit slower.

Advertisements

Counting Down The Days Until Ireland!

11 Jun

I leave for Ireland in 8 days. Truthfully, it still feels a bit unreal, and yet it’s not. In eight short days, I’ll be saying goodbye to the United States and hello to a dream of mine: Ireland. 🙂

I spent time yesterday getting things ready for Ireland: making copies of all the important documents, going out and getting power adapters for my computer and camera charger (the two necessities of my trip, both of which will help me document the experience of a lifetime). Even though I haven’t started packing yet, I’ll probably do some packing trial runs throughout this week so that I’ll be sure and have everything when I leave on the 19th. Even though I’ve been told that a lot of things can be bought once I’m Ireland, I still want to bring as much of my own things as I can. Thankfully, I’ve always been a pretty light packer anyway, and I’ll definitely want to have plenty of room for gifts for family and friends as well as a few momentoes for myself.

Since I’ll be traveling around for a week with my mom before my program begins in Galway, I’ll hopefully be able to at least get a feel for things (transportation, money, shops, pubs etc) before starting my program. While in Galway, I’ll be taking two courses, and even though I haven’t officially signed up for classes yet, I’m hoping to take Irish Literature and Film and Gaelic Culture. Four full weeks of reading Irish literature and learning as much as possible about the Irish culture…I couldn’t think of anything better.

I’m also excited to keep all of you up to date on my travels and my experiences while in Ireland. I’ll be posting tons of pictures as well as recapping the best memories of every few days. I’m so happy to be able to tell all of you how my trip is going. Most of all though, I’m just ready to embark on the experience of a lifetime. I’ve had more than my share of nerves over the past few days, but truthfully, I think once I actually get there, most of my nerves will settle. I mean, how can I not smile constantly when I’m finally living a dream of mine? 🙂