Archive for April, 2011

A night in Dublin

On Friday, we were preparing for our busy day on Saturday…check it out!

We stayed there in Dublin for the night where three of us slept in a double bed, one on the floor, and one in a single bed. Yep, five women in ONE room! We had a blast though and we were all so tired we didn’t even realize that we were piled in on top of each other. Check out our hotel room!

After getting settled in at the hotel, we went walking around Dublin for a bit to figure out where the restaurant was. Kristen had found an Italian restaurant that she was raving about eating at, and of course, we were more than happy to test it out! For dinner I had traditional bruschetta that all of the girls shared and the tomatoes were heavenly to say the least.

For my main dinner  I had smoked salmon with goat cheese, which was also heavenly.

Later that evening we went to Bewley’s where the coffee is to die for and the desserts are mouthwatering. Kristen and I shared this chocolate upon chocolate cake that was three layers of delicious, chocolatey goodness. At this time, I was definitely in heaven!

…and there was even latte art on the mocha!

Later that night, we made it to an Irish pub where there was live music and we clapped an sang along to Galway Girl, a famous song originally written by Steve Earl. Which at one point topped the charts in Ireland. So popular that it was used in one of my favorite movies…P.S. I Love You.

Great band! These three are parts of different bands, but the love playing so much that they simply get together from time to time to enjoy each other’s talents.

We had an incredible time walking about on Grafton Street in downtown Dublin, but we finally had to call it a night because it was so late and the early morning was coming so quickly.

Stay tuned for my Northern Ireland adventure!

Much Love,

Ireland Dreamer


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Here I am in lovely Ireland where I am spending time in a private school for girls. The school is incredible, and it has been a wonderful experience learning how our schools in the United States are similar and different from those in Ireland. This week at Rathdown, we had incredibly busy days and we even had an Irish celebrity visit our school!

Let me start at the beginning of the week…

The students have games called “Mind Labs” that teach them how to problem solve and think about ideas critically. They are a wonderful thing because the students get excited about them, and it helps them think beyond their next move. Take a look at some of these games…I think I want to play!

They were really cool, and Rathdown is the only school in Ireland who use these games in their learning.

On Tuesday, the school had a Green School Ceremony which is when they were able to raise their Green School flag showing that they were conserving water. In order to conserve water, the 6th class students placed rocks in the back of the toilets which decreased the amount of water that was used to flush the toilet. This is the third Green Flag they have received. Their first one was for reducing energy used in the school. The second was for reducing the amount of trash that goes to the landfill, and their third was for decreasing water usage. The fourth and next flag they are going to try to accomplish is decreasing pollutants through using public transportation. This one will be incredibly difficult for the school because so many students and teachers use cars to get to school rather than the train or a bus.

It is really cool because the students take an active role in participating in Green Schools. The school has a Green Schools committee and the students keep me in line about making sure to recycle paper. Another thing I have noticed is that the students and teachers eat off of real plates, not paper or styrofoam plates. There is a lot to be said for that initiative because even when the students come with their lunch, which most of them do, they bring their food in reusable containers, not plastic bags.

This was our green school ceremony:

For our Green Schools ceremony, we had an Irish celebrity come to help with the raising of the flag. His name is Ryan Tubridy, who is a radio show and late night show host. The girls went crazy over him coming to the school and we so excited to meet him and speak to him.

Meet Ryan Tubridy:

Ryan helped the Green Schools Committee raise the flag outside after the students sang songs and shared with the visitors about Green Schools and why the school was receiving another flag.

Then, of course on Friday, we had April Fools Day. The students and teachers get incredibly into this day because they play tricks on each other until noon. At noon, all tricks must be shared with the victim of the trick. I saw everything from student’s boxes of books that were in different rooms, tennis rackets moved, teacher’s chairs stolen, and a class bird moved around. It made me realize that the entire school is a community and they not only take care of each other, but they were able to goof off and have fun with each other as well.

I have been teaching small lessons about North Carolina and what it has to offer. The students have gotten incredibly interested in learning about North Carolina and the United States as a whole. Because these student have not traveled to the United States much more than Orland, Florida or New York City, then they are not as familiar with how the United States is laid out. Students have difficulty realizing that there are states, counties, and cities. They also find it hard to believe that only one state is about the size of Ireland. So, allowing the students to explore with maps and information about my country is extremely beneficial. I have also had students teaching me about Ireland which is completely foreign to me.

This weekend I am going to Northern Ireland with the girls where we will be visiting the Giants Causeway, Derry, and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. So…stay tuned!

Much love,

Ireland Dreamer

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