I know this is incredibly late, but I have just been so exhausted from the jet lag and being sick. Literally as soon as I got off the airplane, my body decided that I had been having way too much fun the past two weeks and developed a horrible cold. As soon as I started feeling a little better, I was headed back to Frostburg to start my final internship. All weekend I have been getting everything together and organized.. and attempting to start my portfolio!
Okay, so trying to think back.. Friday was a lovely day. We spent the morning/afternoon in Adaire. The houses were interesting because they had thatched roofs. It felt like time had just been standing still, or we had traveled back in time. I’m really glad we got the chance to see that. After Adaire, all the girls decided that we all had to spend the last of our Euros… hmm.. but where you might ask? The infamous Penny’s store of course! I have developed such a strong love for that store! If only they had an online version.. Whitney and I checked; they don’t! Darn! That night, we had a wonderful time at the party hosted by Dr. O, Steve, and Dr. B. All the Irish Grad students attended, (well, a lot of them), and it was nice to just sit down as a group and relax together one last time before we departed the Emerald Isle. I think, honestly, that dinner was one of my favorite parts because everybody was so relaxed, and the evening was very enjoyable. However, packing that night… terrible! I did manage to fit everything into my suitcase, and it was still under weight! Perfect!
Departing from Ireland was sad but still exciting. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone at home all of my amazing stories. The plane ride was long but easy. We did, however, run in the airport because we all needed to use the bathroom and they had started boarding early! I’ve never gone so fast in my life! When we arrived in Newark, our gate was moved three times and our flight was delayed about an hour. But hey, we were all used to it by then, and we all just rolled our eyes. Getting home to Dulles and seeing my parents was a magical moment. I couldn’t wait to give them a hug and thank them for everything they had done to let me go on this trip. I really couldn’t have done it with out them. I have the greatest parents in the world.
As I reflect over this entire experience, it just feels surreal. Was I really in Ireland? Did I really teach in an all Irish speaking school? Did I really make an impact on all of the students in all of the classrooms we visited? I’m happy that I can answer yes to all those questions. I know I made an impact, and I wouldn’t change anything about this experience.. except maybe a direct flight to Ireland with NO STOP IN NEWARK. But that’s all.
I really have to thank Dr. O, Steve, Dr. B, Aisling, and Patrick. This was one of the most incredible experiences, and I wouldn’t have been able to go with out all of their hard work and compassion. I have need felt such a connection with all the girls I traveled with either. I literally feel like these girls changed my life just as much as those Irish students did. I am forever thankful for all of them. I was able to become friends with people that I probably would never have with out this. We will always have this amazing experience in common, and I’ll cherish that forever.
As I was writing up my resume last night for seminar tomorrow, I wrote down, “Teaching Abroad.” How amazing does that look! I TAUGHT IN IRELAND!! I dare someone to ask me about that on an interview, because I could talk their ear off! I not only had an awesome time being there, but I also learned so much, and I know I grew as a teacher. This is something I will never forget.
One thing I wish I learned more of while I was there is how to speak Irish. Dr. O just sent us an email, and I’m not going to lie.. I had to use Google Translate! But yes, Dr. O, fheiceann tu go loath. And also, go raibh maith agat as gach rud.