Posted by: loveleigh | July 21, 2009

Final Reflection

Over the course of the semester I’ve enjoyed our class field trips. It was great to get out of the classroom and still have a learning experience. Some of the field trips I didn’t find very relevant to the material in class, but some of my favorites were Kilmainham Gaol and Ardmore.

Visiting Kilmainham is one of my favorite things we did in that whole Dublin weekend. Researching it beforehand was very beneficial to me because our tour guide would go over the same historical facts but then he also told many personal stories that added to the historical background. Seeing the actual cells where the major political leaders were held was incredible. It was even more powerful to see where the 1916 Easter rising leaders were executed and to hear all their personal stories. I really thought this field trip paralleled with our discussion of social control.

Ardmore was more of a spiritual experience. While walking St. Declan’s walk i was able to experience the emotional and spiritual connection that this place had to Irish history. I loved all the myths about St. Declan’s rock and St. Declan’s well and I thought those went along perfectly with Durkheim’s discussion of totems, Especially how society makes the symbol more sacred than the object itself.

Class field trips are great,  for me the best part of this entire experience was experiencing the Irish culture by travelling on my own on the weekends. The weekends at Dublin, Killarney, Galway, and the Wicklow Mountains are trips I will never forget. I don’t think they had much to do with the material we covered in class, but they were major eye openers to the beauty of Ireland. My favorite place was the Wicklow Mountains. We went to Glendalough and hiked a portion of the Wicklow Gap and the scenery was breath-taking. I also got a great sense of accomplishment from hiking up the mountain, which wasn’t easy at all, but the view and the emotional feeling I got at the top was incredible. Another great experience I had was when we were in Dublin we went out to the Blue Light pub which was outside of Dublin. The people there were incredibly friendly and called the pub a ‘true dub pub’ which meant it was not a touristy place like Temple Bar. Before the trip everyone told me that I would learn the most about the irish culture from the pubs, and that was definitely true about this place. I learned so much from just talking to the locals.

Overall I thought the program did a good job trying to take us to sites that related to our course material, but i do realize it is hard to organize field trips with a group as large as ours. I feel Study Abroad is what you make of it and I feel that our directors and professors tried their best to make it fun learning experience for us. I do feel that this has been one of the best experiences of my life and have loved every minute of it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: