Category: Life in Dublin


The chaplaincy of Dublin Institute of Technology, Fr. Alan Hilliard, Susie Keegan, and Suzanne Greene the administrative assistant, assist DIT’s visiting students, who come from all around the world. The chaplains organize trips and events in addition to providing helpful advice and pastoral assistance. 

So far this year, I’ve helped out with two events they organised–a trad music event at the back room of the Cobblestone pub, and a day trip to Glendalough national park and ancient monastic city.

More Weekend Fun

In addition to the St. Anne’s ParkRun and tour of the Botanical Garden and Cemetary in Glasnevin, we also explored Dublin city over the weekend and had a fun dinner party at my place, hosted by my flat mate, Maurizio.

I’ve attached some highlights, from various adventures in town, but Mau’s lasagna stole the show!

 

 

img_5149-1The Dublin sun shone again today, making the Botanical Garden ideal to visit. The Victorian-age green houses, sprawling green lawns, and falling leaves drew crowds of enthusiastic park-goers. We strolled the paths, viewed plants from around the world (including many sorts of Venus fly-trap), enjoyed the sensations and colors,  and played in mountains of leaves.

img_5164Then, Aongus and I took a break in the Garden cafe for lunch, and wrapped up our trip to this part of town with a jaunt into the adjacent Glasnevin Cemetary for a stroll, a history lesson, and coffee (with his beloved “coffee slice”). By sunset, when we left the Cemetary, the gate back into the Garden was locked, so we took the side exit out, beside The Gravediggers pub and stopped in for a pint and a half of Guinness.

I’m the half pint!

ParkRun for Some Sun

Shannon Chance, Ted Burke, Dave Doorn, and Aongus Coughlan after the St. Anne’s ParkRun

St. Anne’s Saturday morning Park Run in the crisp autumn air–what a treat!  I can’t say I actually ran, though. It was more of a jog! But I didn’t stop to walk even once and, for a 5k, I’ll consider that a success.

My DIT colleague Dave Doorn came in 4th in the field of 303, with a time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds. Ted Burke was 10th, today which is amazing considering last week he ran the Dublin Marathon (in just 3 hours and 12 minutes!). I also saw my colleague and office mate, Kevin Furlong, along the way. As he passed me!

I’ll not post my ranking today, but will celebrate finishing with a smile! It was my second 5k, ever. The previous one was at the Malehide ParkRun, which is also a beautiful site.

Thanks to Aongus for the inspiration to run and sticking by my side for the inaugural run. I just may get the hang of this yet!

 

Cecilia Hartsell, an inspiring historian and PhD candidate conducting research here in Dublin, chaired a workshop on Saturday (February 27, 2016) to help people learn about the use of primary documents in research conducted by historians. This was one of six separate events Cecilia is organizing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Uprising that eventually garnered Ireland’s independence from British rule.

The event was held at the Pearce Street Library (a street named for one a hero of the 1916 Uprising) included a keynote lecture by a historian from Trinity College Dublin named Brian Hanley, tea and coffee, a short talk on the evaluation and usefulness of primary documents by Cecilia Hartsell, and time for participants to work in small groups to study primary documents related to the uprising. In the end, each group presented its findings and we discussed what we’d learned.

I’m looking forward to Cecilia’s upcoming events!

I hesitate to admit that I’ve only just partaken of an English afternoon tea. It’s been in my sights for years now, but I suppose some of the best things in life take time.

This afternoon, Blackrock’s House of Tea served up a lovely tray with sandwiches, scone, pastry, a smattering of desserts, and two luxurious blends of tea.

‘Twas a remarkable little meal. Tea time is moving back onto my list of definite “to dos,” and alsa, now, it’s much higher up!

 

IMG_1291

Hopping off the bus from Blanchardstown yesaterday I scurried from Manor Street to Bolton Street, reminded of the glories of Dublin’s architecture.

On North Brunswick Street I snapped a photo of the red brick Victorian-era building formerly housing the Richmond Surgical Hospital. I iMessaged the photo over to a Fulbright Scholar who recently arrived in Ireland, who teaches and conducts research at a medical school. The former hospital is being renovated into an educational center. It retains the ward layout common in the 1800s
as well as elegant outdoor porches for patients to recuperate in fresh air.

I darted across Church Street and up Constitution Hill, bumping into a class of DIT students learning to conduct geologic surveys as I criss-crossed the park at the Kings Inn Law School. The male carotids (the sculptures supporting the beam above with their heads) at the Deeds Office seemed frozen in action on this very cold day.

I ducked through its arcaded courtyard and continued down Henrietta Street, which is bound by regal Georgian town homes.

Passing by the historical front of DIT’s Bolton Street building, I slipped in the side entry, through the courtyard, up the stairs to the lofty top floor, and past the “crit pit” to an informal meeting with the new Assistant Head of DIT’s School of Multi-Dsiciplinary Technologies. He’s using the office space I enjoyed during the autumn — with a sweeping view across the city and toward the Wicklow mountains.

Ted, Damon, and crew conducted a RoboSlam for 18 undergraduate engineering student form the University of Wisconsin last week.  I'll post more photos of the event soon, on our RoboSlam blog.

Ted, Damon, and crew conducted an abbreviated RoboSlam this part week for 18 undergraduate engineering student from the University of Wisconsin last week. They are students of former Fulbright, Bob O’Connell (far right). I’ll post more photos of the event soon, on our RoboSlam website.

Solstice in Dublin!

Solstice in Dublin!  It was my first solstice here and I enjoyed every minute of it! Interestingly, there’s indirect sunlight for even longer than 17 hours. The first rays appear before 4 AM and the last disappear after 10 PM.

Dublin is full of sunshine!  Temperatures are topping top out each day at about 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the sun has been staying up for 17 hours each day.  That makes for perfect weather for outdoor yoga.  On the day of the solstice, our yoga instructor, Peter, shared this provocation:  If there was no fear, what positive change would you make in your life?

I mulled the proposition.  I know better than anyone:  There’s good reason to fear what you may lose by chasing outrageous dreams.  But there’s also good reason to seek new knowledge and experience.  I hope someday my work will be a testament to trying hard to live life to the fullest.

This, the second week of my Marie Curie research fellowship, was full of adventures, errands, and learning.  My colleagues and I conducted a RoboSlam and a workshop on Problem-Based Learning at the start of the week.

I was honored to be included in a dinner and workshop with a guest from Portugal, José Manuel Nunes de Oliveira, who you may recall from an earlier blog.  Jose shared his work with the faculty of the DT07 electrical engineering program. This group of teachers is considering making the DT07 program more problem-based.

Jose's three essential elements of PBL.

Jose’s three essential elements of PBL.

Jose identified three elements he sees as essential to PBL (Problem- or Project-Based Learning):

  • Project drives learning
  • Group work
  • Reflection (including Self -and Peer-Assessment)

Jose described various aspects of assessment since this is a topic of concern to many of the teachers in the program.

I wish I had time to post details of the workshop, but I really need to get onto “real” work today.  Below, I’ve uploaded a photo journal of many highlights of the week. I hope they inspire you to find a least one new adventure today–however big or small.

I feared that somehow things wouldn’t seem as new and fresh on my return to Dublin as they were before.  During my Fulbright fellowship, I spent 365 days in this vibrant city — but even a vibrant city can become overtly familiar, I would have thought.

And yet, as I happily rediscovered many familiar comforts this past week (like Beef and Guinness Pie at Pieman in Temple Bar), I also uncovered a plethora of new adventures here.

On Saturday, during Fergus Whelan’s history tour, I met a researcher from Fordham University.  She said how much she’d enjoyed finding this blog while she was preparing for her trip here.  Her words encouraged me to get back to posting.  I hope you find something interesting and informative in my little picture gallery of highlights of the past week.

Well, it’s 10:20 PM and the sun has just set.  It will be up again by 5 AM or so, and I’d best get ready to hit the sack. I’ve another big week ahead!

‘Tis the season for summer cook outs and barbeques all across the Western hemisphere.  Yesterday, I went to two.  One at Drs. Pam Eddy and Dave Pape’s house in Williamsburg, and another at the home of John and Tammy Lifsey in Portsmouth.

The main difference in these events is what we call them:  John and Tammy had a “porch party” while Pam and Dave had a “Higher Ed picnic”.  These reminded me of the “BBQ” I recently enjoyed in Dublin that was hosted by Mike and Mai Murphy (I’ve posted photos of the event).  My sister, Heather, came along with me.

On this particular night we were discussing our dreams of setting up a new research center.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress we make with that.

Whatever the name and wherever the place, it’s nice to have friends to visit and to share ideas with!

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