Time to Teach the Fulbrights!

At Trim Castle with the 2012-13 Fulbrights to Ireland and their families (on 7 September 2012). Try playing “where’s Waldo?” and find Dave, Heather, and me.  You’ll also see the pipers (Jonathan and Amanda), Erin Eife, and many other folks I’ve blogged about.

There are so many things I meant to share but haven’t had the time to post.  This is one of them.

These are photos that Fulbright Communications Officer, Joanne Davidson collected during our September 2012 Fulbright orientation events.

I hope they’ll give you the feel for some of what we learned.

Colleen Dube, the Head of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland, orienting us all (on 6 September 2012).

Learning Irish with Sioban, a former Fulbright to the USA and the niece of the Cobblestone pub’s proprietor, Tom Mulligan. (Photo from 6 September 2012.)

Ann and Bob Trumble from Williamsburg, Virginia. Bob teaches at VCU and he used to work at NIH and NSF. I’ve enjoyed spending time with them — they have been living here in Dublin. (Photo from 6 September 2012.)

Applying for a Fulbright to go to the US

I’ve been promoting the idea of applying for a Fulbright to many people I have met here in Ireland.  Up until now, I wasn’t entirely clear on the specific types of awards available for Irish folks who want to be Fulbright-ers in the USA.  I’ve recently discovered that there are three types of awards offered.

  • Fulbright Student Awards: For up to one academic year for postgraduate study or research in the United States in any discipline, including the arts. Grants are a maximum of $20,000. Applicants may stay to complete their academic program if it is longer than one year.
  • Fulbright Scholar and Professional Awards: Grants available for up to €35,000 (Irish Language) and $20,000 (General Awards) for academics and professionals with more than five years’ experience to research and/or lecture in the US, lasting between and three and twelve months.
  • Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) Awards: Ten-month Awards for Irish language teachers to refine their teaching skills in the US by teaching at a US college and taking classes at a post-graduate level. Grants are available for approximately €20,000.

The applications are due tomorrow (November 14) for travel in 2013-14, but this information can help my Irish friends as they plan for the future.  Additional information is available from Fulbright Ireland.

Awash in Culture–and Wishing I’d Hit Record!

I actually had a voice recording device on me today, but I hadn’t set it up.

I was in Linenhall for a quick, half hour coffee meeting. So, I didn’t think to ask to record until the conversation was too good to stop for something as odd and pragmatic as setting up the iPhone.

I was meeting Máirtin D’Alton (the architect who lead a tour I attended during Open House Dublin, I’ve included a photo to spark your memory).

Following the Tour, I suggested/recommended/fairly much insisted on him for a position at DIT. Sima took my advice, and he’s been working for an hour a week in the 4th year architectural technology studio ever since.

Of course, he’s giving more time than an hour a week to the cause.

He’s being very conscientious in the role–he showed me the prep work he’d done for today.  (I always like to know it’s working out well after I recommend someone!) His prep work must have taken hours.

And, he was also part of a studio crit yesterday that lasted from 9am-7pm. Whew! How exhausting!

He still made time to meet me for coffee before studio today. And, our conversation today was fascinating!  I made a few notes on my phone at the end. They’re below, in rough form but interesting nonetheless.

Typical Irish bungalow. This one located near Killaney. (Photo © Brian Shaw.)


Bungalows have been the norm for single family detached housing in Ireland–past and present. You’ve been able to buy plan books. There are lots of versions of bungalows out there but they all have basic rectangle with simple hip or gabled roof. They’re getting more complex roofs now. They used to be situated with the gable end toward the SW to capture breeze and solar energy, but by now many town councils have regulated they should face street. Hedgerows have been removed to allow roads to be widened. This has changed the composition of Irish towns greatly. They don’t reflect nature or the social fabric the same way as in the past.

The Irish fascination with the TV show “Dallas” lead to over abundance if houses mimicking that style, especially in the north.


New-fangled bungalow in Tralee, used as a B&B. Downloaded from property listing website.

We discussed WalMart’s development strategy and how this plays out with IKEA around the globe and with Carrefour and the like in France. In France, the big box stores on outskirts have strangled small businesses, much like in the USA.  (IKEA has been getting big press for plans to go green lately, but they really must address the longevity and up-cycling of their products. Their solar lights are very poor quality and they break with little use.)

Irish traditional music was almost dead in the 1960s. A Guggenheim sister came and did recordings (i.e., qualitative research).  She brought a group to NYC (she had a close relationship with one of the group). The group was set to play for two minutes on a TV show, but due to a cancellation they ended up with 20 minutes to play. They resorted to playing tunes their mom had taught them. This show brought out American enthusiasm; it was wildly popular in the US. This sparked a revival of traditional music on Ireland. (Interestingly, Fulbright Ireland has a big role in preserving Irish language today.)

Image by John Moore / Getty Images / AAP, from the article Totally green: IKEA pledges to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2020.

Regarding names: it was popular in the north to use the mother’s last name (surname or family name) as the child’s first name. That’s how names like Kelly and Shannon would have started bring used as first names.

Jimmy Stewart biography.

In our discussion, I posited that architectural pedagogy is becoming more relevant to society while the architecture profession is becoming less and less relevant (the irony is that education has a big role to play in instilling the types of values that are causing this demise, as well as instilling a sense of curiosity and engagement that makes architecture grads so valuable to other fields).


Mairtin told me that Jimmy Stewart studied architecture at Princeton. He then bagged it, and went into acting. He played in a film set in the Shenandoah Valley, that Máirtin watched last weekend.
…Máirtin has offered to show Esther Serchi and me some important sights on the outskirts of Dublin, while she’s visiting in a week.