On my last night in Dublin, my friends came together at the Cobblestone for my “American wake”.
Sheila Whelan (Fergus’ wife) originally suggested the idea. She told me that when someone leaves Ireland for the US, the Irish traditionally hold a wake for them. In older days when people, like my great-grand mother, set sail for the States, a wake was held since the person wasn’t expected to return. Thankfully, flying has made the return trip much easier!
When I explained I wanted to return, Sheila said, “no worries!” Evidently, my return will give us a reason for a welcome back party! I’m hoping for one of those on my November visit.
The Cobblestone pub in broad daylight.
Irish wakes are typically held when someone dies, and they celebrate the deceased person’s life. There’s lots of drinking, craic/merry-making, and music. They are similar to America wakes, which are held for the living. As explained on Wikipedia, the term American wake:
refers to a gathering in an Irish home the night before a family member emigrated to America, in which friends and family would say goodbye to the emigrant for what was probably the last time.
American Wake is the first full-length solo album by Patrick Clifford, released in 2010.
Thanks to my many friends who came to the wake, and to others who sent well-wishes from their summer vacation destinations.
Nancy Stenson and her friends from Minnesota, John and Robin.
John and Robin sang a number of songs at my “American wake.” They were headed home the next day, too.
Robin, John, Nancy, and Fergus in the musician’s corner for the Wednesday night early set.
Mick O’Grady organizes the early set.
Here are my new friends, Sylvia and Alessandro, who also play on Wednesdays.
Tom and Tomas Mulligan, dancing behind the bar.
Fergus usually sings on Wednesday and Friday, during the early sets (7:30-9:30 or so).
Eventually Jerry Crilly arrived, and shortly after that Frank and Carmel Cullen came around.
We moved to the back of the bar…
…so we could chat…
…and sing some songs.
Here, Jerry is leading a song.
Frank and Jerry make a dynamic duo.
And Fergus keeps everyone up-to-date on historical research.
Tom Mulligan gives us all a place to gather…
…that we can call “home.”
Here Tom and I are, posing with the “urban reflection” photo I gave him.
This wake was a wonderful way to wrap up a year in Dublin: at the Cobblestone pub with some of my best friends in the city. Thanks to them all for their love and support.
Today was a busy first day back at Hampton University. The dean re-introduced me to the faculty with a big “welcome home!” I have to admit, my colleagues’ enthusiastic greetings made me feel like a superstar all day.
After the morning keynote sessions, the whole faculty headed over to the HU waterfront for our annual picnic. This year’s weather was amazing and the jazz ensemble sounded lovely.
The faculty wrapped up the afternoon with information sessions, one of which I helped facilitate. My colleagues and I encouraged our peers to integrate environmental topics into the courses they teach.
You can view my Prezi online: I showed a few images of how we integrate sustainability into architecture courses at HU. I also discussed the “Educational Planning for Environmental Sustainability” course I teach in the summer at William and Mary. I took the opportunity to promote student-centered pedagogies (which I studied at Dublin Institute of Technology) and the importance of getting students to generate new knowledge (a core idea in W&M’s School of Education).
The schedule for the week-long Faculty Institute
Hampton University’s beautiful Memorial Chapel
The Hampton waterfront, ready for our faculty picnic
My sustainability colleagues enjoying jazz over lunch
View of the marina across the Hampton River
The facilitators for today’s sustainability workshops: Drs. Shannon Chance, Barbara Abraham, Andrij Horodysky, Carmina Sanchez, Deidre Gibson, and Benjamin Cuker.
We started with a few short presentations…
…on the sustainability course I teach at William and Mary.
We spoke with half the faculty in each session.
Carmina did the session wrap up.
We gave everyone time to generate ideas for integrating sustainability into their own course activities.
…and share ideas…
and present the ideas to the whole group.
Everyone got involved…
…and we came up with…
…some interesting ideas…
…that we will soon post…
…on a website…
…to keep us moving forward…
…and working to make this world a better place.
I even got to share some ideas from my time in Dublin.
Visiting the Powerscourt house, garden, and waterfall–located south of Dublin–makes a nice outing from the city. Some coach companies offer a day trip here, but you can save a lot of money if you just take Dublin bus! The interior of the house is a bit disappointing, as it was gutted by fire. But the exterior, garden, and nearby waterfall are glorious.
The Garden of the Powerscourt House, south of Dublin…
…is formal and has a view of Sugarloaf Mountain.
The house has a grand plan…
…but was destroyed by fire…
…and hasn’t been fully restored.
Some rooms house a museum today…
…and some are used for functions.
This grand hall has been restored…
…to its pre-fire glory.
Much of the house is filled with shops, like this furniture store.
While the formal gardens were nice, it was much too hot to venture out without shade.
So I headed to the nearby Powerscourt waterfall….
…to play in the cool water…
…splash around on the rocks…
…and watch Irish and Polish families enjoy the sun.
The Good News is, I got my grant proposal submitted. Because I’m pretty new to the field I’m researching, my chances are probably below the 13.2% success rate. On the other hand, I’m hoping the fact that I was so careful and spent so much time will boost my odds. Sometimes the best you can do is try.
The Bad News is, I haven’t had time to blog. There’s still so much to show and tell. But since I’m headed home in less than a week, I am up to my elbows in packing instead of showing and telling.
In the meantime, I’ll upload an intriguing map posted on Facebook by my brilliant and talented former student from Hampton University, Lanre Ajibola. The size and shape of the USA is shown in dark purple. Lanre was born in Nigeria and he says:
Quick Geography lesson: next time anyone talks about Africa like it’s a country, present this map – you are welcome!
Seeing as how I directed a Fulbright-Hays program to Tanzania in 2005, it makes sense for me to post this on my Fulbright blog even though it has nothing to do with my trip to Ireland. 🙂
Speaking of relative sizes, I’d better get back to seeing how much I can stuff into my suitcases without going over the weight limits….
Relative size of Africa
Heather on the Cliffs of Moher!
While I’m here in Dublin trying to finalize this grant proposal, my sister Heather is on the western coast of Ireland visiting Eilish O’Hanlon and her husband Con.
You may recall that Eilish and my mom share the same great grandparents. Con and Eilish have taken Heather to see the place my own great grandmother was baptized. They took my mom and me there in May, but I’ve neglected to post photos as of yet.
Incidentally, because Con is a first cousin of Tom Mulligan (proprietor of the world-famous Cobblestone Pub), I’ve got family all over Dublin! 🙂
Today I’m sharing the photos Heather has posted on her Facebook page over the past week.
Heather and Eilish on the Bromore Cliffs, County Kerry.
Atop Cnoc-Nacor in Ballybunion with Heather’s namesake.
The greeter at the Bromore Cliffs, Ballybunion, County Kerry, Ireland.
The Bromore Cliffs.
The Bromore Cilffs in County Kerry. These have only been open for a couple months and folks who live here are seeing them for the first time!
Heather on the Cliffs of Moher!
Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin.
Heather’s night view of the River Liffey.
Heather Massie with Neil and Tom Mulligan.
Shannon swimming in books and papers.
I’ve been buried in books and papers for days.
I’m working overtime on a research proposal… trying to find funds to return to Dublin so that I can follow up on findings I’ve made and keep learning new research skills by working with experts and doc students here.
The last time I got to go outside and explore was last week in Birmingham. Wikipedia explains that Birmingham is:
a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlandsof England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London with 1,074,300 residents (2011 census), an increase of 96,000 over the previous decade. … A medium-sized market town during the medieval period, Birmingham grew to international prominence in the 18th century at the heart of the Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw the town at the forefront of worldwide developments in science, technology and economic organisation, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as “the first manufacturing town in the world”.
I’ll share pictures of that city today, in all its splendor….
There’s so much I still haven’t shown you–like photos from our June trip to Carcassonne, France. This town was restored to it’s medieval glory by the very famous architect, Viollet-le-Duc in the mid 1800s. His work was going on just before the American Civil War.
The place is in tip-top condition. It reflects Viollet-le-Duc’s best guess as to the walled city’s use and detailing many moons before. He did quite a bit of forensic analysis in this project! According to Wikipedia:
Carcassone was founded by the Visigoths in the fifth century, though the Romans had fortified the settlement earlier. The fortress, which was thoroughly restored in 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.
A visit to Carcassone in 2013.
A great walled town
Crossing the moat…
Entering the town…
…through a thick wall.
With it’s slender streets…
…and small plazas.
A stunning Gothic church…
…with lacy stained glass windows…
…a beautiful old pipe organ…
…and ample ambiance.
Its exterior laced with gargoyles.
An interesting caryatide.
A plan of the town.
A space between the exterior walls.
Down the hill and across the river… sits the new portion of Carcassone…
…canopies provide hints leading you in the direction of the new town…
…with its gridded street organization.
…and newer plazas…
…full of festivity…
While back in the old town…
…you can enter the most fortified area…
…to see the story of…
….how architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc…
…renovated the city in the mid 1800s.
Here’s the small inner courtyard…
…as viewed by Dave.
Info about the entrance….
…wtih drawings to show how…
…the gate operated.
This explains the wooden overhangs….
…shown here in drawing.
They were used to protect…
…soliders fighting along the walls.
A panorama of the large courtyard.
Art in the museum of stonework.
A courtyard of Carcassone….
…and one of it’s best known delicacies, for sale by the jar.
The town is especially beautiful…
It is dramatically lit…
…though the sun stays up late in the summer.
Prof. Kamel Hawwash
Last week I travelled over to the UK to visit professor Kamel Hawwash, the incoming president of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI).
Prof. Hawwash has done a great deal of work in attracting and retaining diverse students in engineering, a topic known as “attractiveness” in the UK, and one in which I’m aiming to do more research.
Prof. Hawwash’s SEFI presidency will focus on two main topics:
1) employability and skills
We had much to discuss and we met for nearly two hours! After our meeting, I had a chance to look around the University of Birmingham campus and then explore the city before flying back to Dublin via Ryanair.
At the University of Birmingham, they teach teachers to teach…
…and have policies like the one at DIT that requires new teachers to earn certificates/diplomas in Learning and Teaching.
…of the University of Birmingham….
…is quite beautiful.
And I saw produce vendors in two different places–one by the hospital/medical school…
…and the other by the main quad…
…which is surrounded by buildings of all shapes and sizes.
Last week, a PR person from DIT asked to use a photo I took at graduation for publicity. Through our communication, I learned she’d used another of my images–one from RoboSlam–in a press release back in May.
My sister, Heather, is visiting. She’s come to take acting classes.
Last night, we took in a play… Major Barbara, written by Shaw, performed at the Abbey Theater in Dublin. I discovered that I’ve really got to concentrate to keep up with Shaw, but it’s worth the effort. His work is packed with meaning….
Heather has been spending quite a bit of time down at the Cobblestone. She goes in much later in the evening than I do. Evidentially late hours are the best for finding Tom, the owner, who is a night owl.
On Friday evening, I’d gone into the Cobblestone to hear some singing and I left at 9. Heather stopped in later and met even more of Tom’s family. She’d gone to thank Tom because he had taken her to see construction of a new theater that he serves as a member of the board.
I really enjoyed Friday evening there. Some of the songs transported me back to my first trip to Ireland in 2003. The country was quite a bit different at that time: songs were full of political strife and pubs were full of families, chatter, and smokey haze. The ban on smoking in pubs, apparent tightening of age limits in pubs, and the economic boom / Celtic Tiger all took their toll on Ireland’s pub culture. The country’s newfound peace also shifted the tone, and for the peace I’m grateful.
The Cobblestone, however, has managed to retain its charm. And it continues to do that despite being listed in every tourist guide. A lot of that, I believe, has to do with Tom’s warm and generous spirit. He makes every person feel special and welcome.
Heather left town today, but sent me over to hear Tom and his friends from the Cobblestone play at the Northside Music Festival in Wolftone ‘Park’.
Shannon and Heather see Shaw
Heather and Shannon share pizza
Nortside Music Festival
Nortside Music Festival
Nortside Music Festival
Tom Mulligan at Nortside Music Festival
Fridays are rockin at Cobblestone Pub
Pat Goode and friends at Cobblestone Pub