My Goodness, My Guinness!

So, it’s week two and I’m already procrastinating a bit of my reading! Big surprise there, I know.

With my second week of classes down, my Course Registration form due tomorrow, and my first load of laundry lugged across campus to the ridiculously hard to find launderette (honestly, it feels like a scene out of James Bond weaseling around the corridors or perhaps like an oasis that you randomly stumble upon: “OH YES, the launderette! There you are, you old cad! *nudge nudge*”), I feel like I am finally sinking in here at Trinity. I finally know where most of the buildings are and my notebooks are beginning to fill up with scribbled notes dictated from Irish intonations. I’m on a slightly more regular schedule, working out a few times a week at the gym that is conveniently connected by a sheltered bridge to Goldsmith Hall, and cooking more of my own meals.

Also, can I just take a moment to rave about the Irish eggs? Seriously…what are they feeding these chickens!?! I’d like to think that Irish chickens are living the most bourgeois of chicken lifestyles, full of chicken bliss; miles of green fields to frolic in, clear blue water from the sparkling Wicklow Mountains, altruistic sheep friends? Ah…the life is good and it is very visible in the strong yellow yolks.

So…moving on from my egg infatuation, here’s the final rundown of my classes: “History of Ireland 1500-1800”, “European Societies; Social Differentiation and European Citizenship”, “Planet Earth” (an intro. to Geology course), “Quaternary Environmental Change and Climate”, and “Creativity and Imagination.” I’m enjoying them all a lot so far. My European Societies professor, a sociologist, has some interesting tendencies to generalize or simplify some of the effects of city regeneration that probably wouldn’t fly at NYU…but the different perspective is very interesting overall.

My science classes, in the Geology and Geography departments, are pretty fantastic. I must say, for undergraduates, these kids really learn the tiniest details of sedimentation. I am thoroughly enjoying myself and am being sufficiently blown away by the holistic beauty of how our planet was created. Did you realize that the Earth and every other planet in the solar system were actually created out of remnants from the sun’s creation? It’s this poetic system of creation that goes on and on. We are just this little spot in the series of reproduction extenuating from our bright star that will keep life on our planet sustained for the next 5 billion years…until it has a very sad, explosive sun death. It’s funny how current day arguments over modern human evolution, only occurring about 2 million years ago, are so violently debated, when if you cinematically zoom out; the whole process really started 4.5 billion years ago with Earth’s original formation and 13 billion years ago with the creation of the Universe. God. (Inappropriate usage in this context? No?)

Barrels at the Guinness Factory

But back to the basics. Last weekend, I took a day trip to the Guinness Storehouse with the International Student Society. The factory is honestly amazing, which I guess it should be given the amount of money Guinness makes annually. I never really realized everything that went into the monumental stout. It is truly a science and a passion and it’s deeply embedded in Irish culture. It’s a symbol and it is something to be proud of. Even cooperage, the dying art of barrel-making, is an elaborate and deeply mechanical process! The passion for Guinness led Sir Arthur Guinness himself to sign a 9000 year contract in 1759, no doubt! Holy contract! The tour really does make you thirsty for a Guinness when you finally wind down at the Sky Bar and savor your “free” (well, free with your ticket) Guinness while overlooking the city of Dublin, or the fog blanketing the city of Dublin.

The Guinness Gravity Bar

Sunday afternoon, Caroline, Lauren, and I went on an excursion to the nearby sea town of Malahide. It was a cold and wintry day but we kept ourselves warm with multiple tea times and dancing or “castle-walking” as we dubbed it, in front of Malahide Castle. I love these girls and am enjoying their company so much. It’s been a couple years since I have met some new people and deeply connected and I can feel part of me rejuvenating. We are planning a trip to Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Frankfurt during the first week of March; Trinity’s “Reading Week.” I am beyond thrilled!

Castle-walking in front of Malahide Castle

Well, it is very late here and I must retreat to my little bed, which is quite comfortable and fluffy I might add. I leave tomorrow for a weekend trip to Cork, the second largest city in Ireland! Je suis sur excitèe! I wish you all a lovely weekend.

Until next time,