This past summer a group of Honors students went with Dr. Mann and Dr. Neary to Ireland to study the philosophy of James Joyce. I was fortunate enough to be one of the ladies to go on this trip, and it was amazing! The beginning of the trip was definitely much more eventful than we had all planned. We got to O’Hare and were ready to board our first flight on our way to Ireland when it got delayed again… and again… and again. After many card games while waiting for the plane and in-airport snack runs, we had a whole new agenda to get to Ireland the next day, so we slept in a hotel by the O’Hare Airport.
The night consisted of Walmart runs for hygiene supplies (since we didn’t get out luggage), pizza deliveries, and twelve girls swapping stories in one room in their airport sweats. Honestly, this was a really great way for us to kick off the trip. We bonded a lot right off the bat which made the rest of the trip so much better. The next day we hopped on two more planes and finally headed to Ireland, and after nearly a 48 hour delay...we made it! Everyone was SO grateful and we piled onto a bus headed for Mary Immaculate College. Once we were settled in, the fun began.
Our trip was jam packed, and we did too many amazing things to be able to put them all into one article, but there were definitely highlights. One of my favorite parts of the trip was the medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle. It was an amazing experience with authentic atmosphere, beautiful music, and overall a jolly good time. Dr. Mann was pulled out of the crowd and put in the “dungeon” for fraternizing with too many women. He ended up singing his way to freedom, which was quite hilarious. The most beautiful thing we did was visit the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs were absolutely stunning and we all could have spent the entire day there walking around and exploring the beautiful scenery. Our nights were spent playing card games and eating late night four star pizza (we all agreed it was more like 3 star pizza) but it was a two minute walk from our housing so the convenience couldn’t be beat.
We did have some really great meals. We often ate at a pub or local eatery, and several very nice restaurants. Other than the banquet and the cliffs, we did a number of things like go on a witch tour, visited Fungi the dolphin and a number of castles, kissed the Blarney Stone, watched a sheep herding exhibition, and that’s not even all. We certainly kept busy bouncing from day trip to day trip to see as much as we could of Ireland within the time we had to take it all in.
Our group visited many places from James Joyces' book Ulysses which we read for the class. It was really interesting and immersive to see the places from the book "live" and in person. We were even in Ireland for Bloomsday. Bloomsday is a celebration of James Joyce’s works, particularly Ulysses. It was great to see people celebrating and dressed from the time period in the book. It was a great closure for a wonderful trip I won’t forget. I hope all my Ireland ladies are reading this and reminiscing with me. Because of this global seminar, I was able to learn so much and bond with a great group on a wild adventure in another country. Love you ladies ;)
Please enjoy a few memes we created during our airport experience: