Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kylen the Intern Goes Climbing

Three weeks into school, I finally managed to find me an internship that will hopefully fit into either of my majors. I will be working at a place called The Sanctuary. From what I can gather, this place exists in the middle of Dublin to give a sense of peace to people through different classes and relaxation methods. (check it out online: It is a small organization, which means I will be able to do a little bit of everything. They have a big event coming up this summer, they sounded pretty excited when I mentioned that I could help promote it. They seem to be great people, and they already told me that I can take any time off to go travel Europe. I hope this will be a worthwhile experience.
Tomorrow at half three (thats Irish for 3:30) I will be leaving to Galway (West coast of Ireland) to participate in a climbing competition with the DCU climbing club. I have never done a competition, so this will also be a new experience. I will be back on Sunday and I will let you know how it went!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pancake Tuesday and a Relaxing Weekend

This past Tuesday (known to Americans as 'Fat Tuesday') is called pancake Tuesday here in Ireland. Why? I have no idea, other than the fact that instead of the traditional mass consumption of sweets, they instead eat loads of pancakes! However, pancakes aren't common here. You can only buy small bags of pancake mix in the stores, and it isn't even cheap! So some of us decided to make pancakes for Pancake Tuesday. We made some wholewheat strawberry pancakes, banana pancakes were attempted, and of course, we made potato pancakes. The rest of the week went by pretty normally, I went climbing for the fist since I've been here, and got invited to go with the club to a climbing competition this weekend. Still not sure if I'm doing that yet, some other plans are still in the works. This last weekend I was supposed to go with some friends to a hurling match (like lacrosse but with clubs, and bigger goals... wikipedia explains it nicely) on Saturday, and then we were planning on taking a smaller day trip on Sunday. When we got to the arena on Saturday (45-50 minute walk), we were informed that the game was in fact on Sunday. The person who had the tickets (she is interning at the GAA, the athletic club who sponsers the match) forgot to see what day the match was on. So no more day trip on Sunday, because we were determined to see this match. We walked back to the arena on Sunday, only to find that 1 inch of snow is enough to completely cancel a match! Needless to say, we got in a whole lot of walking this weekend!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"We just hiked a marathon in Kilometers!"

Well the weekend has come and gone! Isaac and I took a bus just about as far south as we could go, a small town called Enniskerry, where we had scoped out a Youth Hostel. We got dropped off, and then had to hike down some back roads for 45 minutes until we found the hostel. They gave a few words of advice and showed us the Wicklow Way. We hiked a few hours down the path until we found a nice place to camp. It was tucked at the bottom of a valley right next to the river that dropped off into a waterfall a few hundred yards down. AMAZING!!! We ate some spaghetti with potatoes and pepper, very tasty. We went to bed early in order to wake up early and hike the next 15 miles, all before 4:30. We had to catch the last bus to Dublin out of Glendalough, or we were spending the night... So we tried sleeping, but it got very cold and neither of us got much sleep. At 8 we woke up and tried getting some blood back into our fingers. Luckily for me my toes were kept warm by a fresh pair of knitted socks (thanks mom!). We hiked all day, saw some beautiful sights, even some deer up there. We made it to town in time, despite a collapsed bridge. We crashed for an hour or so in a hostel and caught the 90 minute bus ride home!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Interview @ PCC

I had the interview at PCC earlier today. They work mostly with non-profits doing their advertising and public relations work. PCC themselves are not non-profit, they just work with them. Walking out of the interview I didn't really know what to think. He asked a lot of questions about what I want to do with my future and what kind of similar work I have done in this area. I told him the best I could, the last thing I wanted to say was that I have no idea. Overall, I think we had some good talks, we talked about school and my involvement at Hope. He wanted to know why I came to him directly too, I guess most people get to him through their study abroad programs. I explained my situation and told him that I was on my own on this one. He seemed to understand. Aslo, he had mentioned that there are a few other people also applying for this internship, so we will have to see. I am hoping to hear something from him towards the middle of next week. I will keep you posted.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Goodness, My GUINNESS!!!!

This evening we took a last minute trip to the GUINNESS FACTORY . This place is huge, complete mecca for anyone who have ever even seen, tasted, smelled, or felt a Guinness. 6 floors to tour, topped off with a 360 degree view of the entire city on the highest floor, which also serves as the bar where you savor the freshest Guinness imaginable. Our group made it to the factory about an hour and a half before it closed, so we had to rush through a few parts. As you climb up the 6 floors, each level serves as a different experience in the story of Guinness. There was a history floor, telling the story of Sir Arthur and his 9000 year loan on St. James Gate. a floor dedicated to the brewing process, another floor to the distribution of Guinness. One floor was all the advertisements every created by the company (SOOOO MUCH FUN). Another floor described the global impact of Guinness, including the famous book of records. This place just kept going and going. Finally we made it to the top just in time to drink our Guinness as the sun was setting directly over the main part of the city. I strongly encourage everyone to make it to this place at least once, even you don't like the beer. The style of this tour was such a blast, interactive and informative, yet never boring... Take a look at some of the pictures if you please.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

End of the first week of classes

( I had no idea you could part that much hair!!!)
Classes for the week are over. I do not have class on Friday, hopefully that will be a day of interning. We will hear more about tomorrow at 1. The other classes this week have all been fairly straight forward. Turns out two of my classes have no final exam at all, and the grade is based 100% on in-class evaluations. So some classes are all exams, other classes are no exams, really nothing in the middle. Isaac Sprik, my buddy from home, and I are hoping to go to a hurling match on Saturday with some free tickets from an intern at GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association). Then on Sunday we are thinking of heading into the Dublin mountains for a bit, hopefully back by Monday. This weekend will be full of good times. And its looking like we will go to Liverpool next weekend and partake in the festivities of a home match against Blackburn!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The first classes

Academics are very different here. To understand why, you have to understand that the government is paying for every single Irish student to go a University. With this in mind, students very rarely take school seriously: class becomes a time of chatting with their friends. Many of the students will tell you that the classes here are very easy and that you don't even have to go. But when asked if they get good grades, most will say no. This makes me chuckle.
School is set up differently here too, classes will usually meet once a week and then the class will break into smaller groups and meet on other days. Teachers assume that most of the learning is done independently. Come the end of the semester, we have to prove our independent learning which is based on one final exam. That's it. Some classes may have a paper due at the end, but other than that, the exam is our only grade for the whole semester. Crazy if you ask me.
p.s. I am no longer a simple 'visitor' of Ireland, we got our student passes (practically a visa) today. Those places take forever!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Howth is Magic

Today we took a little day trip to a small fishing town just east of Dublin, Howth. The sights were even better than I could have imagined! Everywhere was green and mossy with cliffs everywhere you looked. Even though the trail was a bit rough and muddy, three of us managed to trek all the way around the 6 mile loop that brought us back into the harbor area. We found a small fish and chips shop, (cuz that what you do in these places) and visited the local farmers market. I posted some pictures from the hike today, but pictures rarely capture everything! I have been itching to get out into the wild for a bit now, I can only be in a city for so long before I need a good dosage of fresh mountain air. Missing you all a great deal!

p.s. has anyone been able to post onto the picassa pictures?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Classes are coming...

So heres the thing, I show up at DCU and 3 months ago I gave them a list of 8 classes I could get credit towards at Hope. I found out yesterday that I am not even registered at DCU, let alone any of these classes. The people from the study abroad program were working on it they said that it shouldnt be a problem and that I am in some classes that I wanted. And now theyre telling me to just do the drop-add forms until i switch into all the classes that I wanted. Things have been a bit stressful. I found out I might be able to get an internship at a local non-profit organization, which is really just like doing charity work if you think about it. They go around to different high schools encouraging kids to become Young Social Innovators (YSI). So I meet with them at the beginning of this next week and see what that consists of. I will try to keep you all posted with these trivial matters.
On the brighter side, we did into the city center today to watch Ireland play Italy in rugby, and we won, of course. We found this big pub that had dozens of huge tvs and projectors everywhere you looked. This place was full of people dressed up and yelling and singing and cheering... everything you would ever imagine it to be. Very fun times. As always, love you all,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Okay, so after trying to figure out the limitations on uploading that DCU has, I have found the Picassa works to upload photos. So I have changed the link on the right-hand side of your screen to take you to my picassa pictures. more will be coming shortly, I have to upload them all one at a time, so it becomes a bit tedious after a while. I hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And so orientationing begins

Yesterday all the other students in the CIEE program showed up, they seem like a nice bunch. Big populations from the Boston/New York areas, theyre a bit different out there i guess. haha im kidding. but really, odd. All the guys are really cool, and I feel like the girls might a need a bit of getting used to... so is life. A group of them wanted to see the city last night after they flew in, so Isaac and I showed them some sights. the city is a very nice place to be. Currently I am sitting in an orientation class, I think theyre discussing how to use their email systems or something like that. I should really get going before my mother gets upset at me for not paying attention. and everyone knows that will happen anyways :). I will hopefully know my classes soon, and I will tell you what I am taking! As always, love and miss you all!