Studying abroad in: IrelandHost University: University of Ulster ColeraineU.S. University: Wake Forest UniversityMajor: EnglishYear: Junior
What’s It Really Like?
Each semester IFSA-Butler students chronicle their adventures and experiences as they live and study in different countries. Read a firsthand perspective of how cultural and educational differences shape their journey.
I know it’s been a while since my last post, so hopefully these two super-long videos will curb your anger a bit.
My time here in Ireland is coming to a close. It’s quite sad, really. I’m in Glasgow, Scotland, now; Jenny and I are going to be heading to London in about ten days to go see Kamelot in concert (woo!) and then after a few days as tourists there we’re off to Paris and Berlin. We still haven’t booked hostels for the second two cities, so wish us luck!
As you can tell from the included dates, these videos are almost a month old. I know, I know, I’m a horribly inconsistent blogger. Luckily for me, I’m too far away from you for you to do anything about this. You’ll never stop my laziness, bwahaha!
I owe you guys some actual narration I think, so look for another video to be posted fairly soon. If you’re all good children, I may even include some bonus footage of me and Jenny wandering around the walls of Derry!
First of all, let me apologize in advance for the poor sound quality present at times during this initial video. The Flip camera works great, but I may or may not have a problem speaking up when I am narrating to it–I promise that this will improve as soon as my inevitable video-blog-induced narcissism kicks in.
Secondly, I can’t believe that I’m leaving for N. Ireland in fifteen hours. When the Fall ’10 semester at Wake Forest ended, I felt like a whole month at home with family and friends was all the time in the world, but now it’s all flown past in a blur. While I’m excited to begin this new adventure, I’m also anxious and scared that things won’t be the same when I return. But isn’t that the purpose of this whole thing, after all? Several semesters ago a certain Dr. Bruce Barnhart in the English Department at WFU introduced me to Hegelian dialectics, in which an initial thesis is replaced by its antithesis before both are joined into an enlightened synthesis. I don’t know if Bruce will ever read this blog or watch the videos to follow, but should he ever find himself reading my words or hearing my voice, I hope that he would approve of this undertaking I have begun. For ultimately, I see this study abroad opportunity as my first real step toward my own synthesis. I hate to think that anything in my life now could be cast aside so simply in a few short months, but I know that in the end everything will be brought back together into one greater understanding.
My friends and family–and I along with them–have increasingly felt and expressed this fear of change as the date of my departure looms ever closer, but I know that my life could never hope to unfold as I see it in my mind if I am too afraid to go out and live it. If I may be so bold as to end this post with a quote, I think perhaps Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien can explain this more succinctly and with far deeper insight:
“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”