Fulbrighting is in full gear here!
The weather is grand — chilly but sunny. And, surprisingly, it was a day without rain. That hardly ever happens. We usually get at least a few drops every day. As they say, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes” … it’s certain to change. They also say Ireland has four seasons in a day. Dave and I have definitely experienced that.
I’ve learned never to leave the apartment without a small umbrella and a waterproof jacket of some sort. There’s little humidity in the air here in Dublin. Gavin joked yesterday that humidity tends to fluctuate between 0% and 100%. (Scientifically speaking it’s probably more like 30% and 100% since 0% would be unGodly dry, but the idea is right on. A hundred percent is, of course, when the air can no longer hold the water and it rains or snows.) I’ll include a few random photos of the Dublin sky, snapped as I walked to various buildings at DIT today (the buildings are spread out all over town).
In the past couple of days, Sima, Gavin, Brian Bowe (their doctoral supervisor), and I have been trading articles on design theory, design process, and qualitative research methods in preparation for our work. We’re exploring differences and similarities between phenomenology and phenomenography. Fascinating, eh!? Well, fortunately, we think so! (I’m trying to make time to read a stack of articles and chapters while also preparing to give a conference presentation next week and making final reviews of the article that will be published next month by SCUP, the Society of College and University Planners.)
Among other activities today, I met with Gavin to discuss definitions of “design” and their relationship to epistemology (the way individual understand “knowledge” and what it means “to know”).
Computer Science lecturer Damien Gordan walked past and joined the conversation (see photo). I’m looking forward to talking with him again soon. So energetic!
Chatting with Damian Gordon from Computer Science, who, like us, also does educational research.
Everyone here is amazingly welcoming. Gavin’s office-mate, Kevin, gave me a his own personal HP printer (his wife has just purchased a new one). The librarian at Bolton Street, Brian Gillespie, checked me out a book using his library card, since mine’s in the works. The Head of Mechanical Engineering and Product Design asked me to submit a paper for his upcoming conference.
I could go on… but there’s even more exciting news.
In a few days, Gavin, the Dean of the College, and I will all fly to Thessaloniki, Greece for a conference sponsored by SEFI (the society of European engineering educators). Gavin will be presenting two papers and I will be presenting two as well. One of the papers we wrote together, so we’ve got a total of three presentations to deliver between the two of us. Strangely, all three of these presentations fall in the same time block. We’ll get to see exactly how many places we can each be at one time!
When the conference ends, Gavin will zip back to Dublin mid-week to teach classes. I don’t have to be in a specific class next week, and my flight choices all required a lengthy stop-over. So… I took full advantage of the opportunity. I chose Rome as my through destination and I scheduled a stop over for three nights on the way back. I’ll return to Dublin in time to work Saturday and Sunday.
I have a huge amount of homework to complete for the following week (the same week my Mom and her two neighbors are arriving for a visit). But I can’t fall behind in my work. Gavin and I must stay on our toes in order to complete our study in time for the January 7 journal deadline.
Oh, yes, Sima phoned today to discuss lecturing schedules and research plans. She’s been following the blog and she called with a very excited tone. She’d not noticed the BYOF sandwich board right outside their building, and neither had the other lecturers. They learned about it from my blog and got a big laugh.
I should have taken a photo in the window of that pub yesterday. The students were just back and they hadn’t packed lunches either. So, there were plenty of students in the pub, but few had BTOF (Brought Their Own Food).
On a parting note, I also had to stop for some produce today and I leave you with the following delightful image+thought=idea. The veggie assortment pictured below was labelled as “soup mix.” How cool!
‘Course I’m gonna steam my veggie assortment instead… and I think I’ll do that right now! Apologies for any typographical errors… but I need to go eat… and work on that SEFI presentation… YIKES!
Soup Mix — Irish Style!