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08/22/2011

frolicking about Dublin

 By Kim Burke

Second session has been flying by! Second session has seemed really different than the first Writer's museum session. We have a lot more free time and less structure. I have learned to enjoy the freedom of the second session; I’ve been to a lot of different places in Dublin and I am finally figuring out the places I like most and we have even become regulars at a few. The first session we went to a lot of places outside of Dublin, we traveled to a bunch of different little towns and we did the touristy stuff like the Guinness Factory, so this session has been a lot more relaxed and we’ve mostly just stayed in Dublin. It makes me feel much more local and less like a visitor to be able to have a favorite pub or coffee shop and to actually have local friends. On Tuesday, we toured the Writer’s Museum in the morning and then we were free the rest of the day. The DublinersWriter’s Museum was  interesting; we walked around and listened to an audio recording about different books and many great Irish authors. Although, a museum about books wouldn’t usually be at the top of my list to go see, I did find a few of the exhibits interesting. I especially enjoyed learning more about the work and life of James Joyce. I read his book, Dubliners in high school and then had to reread it here for a class assignment. I remember thinking in high school that the short stories in Dubliners were boring and mundane. I didn’t get it at all. Reading them again after being here and studying the history and culture, it holds a lot more meaning. I like seeing that what I learn in school actually does change my perspective on things.

After the Writer’s Museum we shopped around the city a little bit and with the beautiful weather 
we couldn’t pass up sitting outside. We went to St. Stephen’s Green, which is a park in the middle of the city. We laid out in the grass at the park, which is a prime location for people watching. I saw an assortment of people there: young families, old couples, rowdy teenage boys, and I couldn’t help but imagine their lives and what it would be like to grow up here.Entrance to stephen green

I have grown to absolutely love Dublin and as I sat at the park with my three friends we dreamed what it would be like to move back here next year. I am learning to appreciate my uniq  ue position in life; with one more year left of college and no clue what to do next, I really do have the freedom to do whatever I want. The four of us sat at the park and conjured up our dream life for next year; we planned out where we could work, live, hang out, and we decided that everyStephen green sunny day in Dublin we would meet back at St. Stephen’s Green. Who knows if we could actually move  back here after we graduate next year, but the important thing is that we have the ability to dream about it. I came to Dublin at the beginning of the summer feeling very unsure about my place in life. It seems like there’s a lot more pressure in America to get married, secure a career, and have it all together right after college, it’s the white picket fence American dream, I suppose.

Don and Martin are always saying that Americans are way too In stephens green
stressed about everything; I’m starting to believe them. Rather than stressing out about life after college, I’m beginning to get excited. I had the privilege of celebrating my 22nd birthday here in Dublin, and although I’ve sort of been dreading it because it means I no longer have the excuse of being a young and reckless 21 year old,  I’m realizing that we take life too seriously and getting older should be an exciting adventure, not something to stress over. Alright, enough rambling and daydreaming, back to my day in the park. After enjoying the park for a few hours we ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Sweeney’s. Take note, if you enjoy drinking Blue Moon beer at home, go to Sweeney’s. Although it doesn’t taste nearly as good as it does in the States, it is the only place I’ve found in Dublin that serves it. All in all, it was a great day in the city.

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