We had no problems leaving Ireland and arrived on time in Newark, but that flight was delayed about an hour. I also had a slight argument with the flight attendant who didn’t think my bag went under the seat, but thankfully I was not left in New Jersey. The plane to Dulles was a small old plane with propellers. It was weird flying in it and definitely not my favorite. We were under the wing. I took some photos on the way home:
So for our last day in Ireland we took a short trip to Adare, a small town in Ireland. We had four hours to ourself in the town to shop and eat lunch. That was more than enough time to see everything. There was a small park, cottages that were small shops, and several pubs. We walked around some of the stores, saw the old creamery, and ate in a pub.
When we came back to Courtbrack, we should have been packing but most of us walked to Penney’s instead for some last minute shopping. I bought some more scarves, leggings with fur inside, and a new dress to wear that night. We were going to a farewell party with all the teachers of the schools we were visiting. The party was at the Unicorn. They had a full four course meal planned. We each picked a starter, an entree, tea or coffee, and a dessert. I had the Galway Bay chowder, the salmon, tea, and pavlova. Everything was so delicious. We were there until about 1000 and then we gave out our paper plate awards. I had Addie and I gave her “The One and Only Addie” Award because the whole trip Dr. O kept calling Ellie, Addie, by mistake. I got the “Cute as a Button” Award from Susie. (: I thought the paper plate awards was a good idea. I was also given the Trio Award along with Katie and Whitney because we were always together. After this I was up until 230 packing and trying to make my bag under the correct weight. I had to be up by 500 am so I slept with my door open to make sure I would wake up. I was all ready to go in the morning and we left right on schedule.
Our first day back in Limerick we visited our last school. I was in senior infants with Hannah and it was absolutely amazing. Kindergarten is what I want to teach and after that day I am really excited about interning with that age group. We read them Snowglobe Family and they drew a picture of themselves playing in the snow. I started out taking pictures of their work until one girl asked to be in the picture. Then all of them wanted a picture with their work to show me. Here are some of the students and their drawings:
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The school we visited was in Galway. When we were done teaching we went out for some site seeing with Patrick. He took us to see a Cathedral and to see the Spanish Arch. After that we were allowed to go off on our own and shop, but we met back for dinner around 515. After dinner we went back to Courtbrack and we were supposed to go out to a pub nearby, but everyone was too tired to go out. We did have a meeting and came up with the idea to do paper plate awards. We each picked a name out of a hat and had to decorate a paper plate like an award for that person. Here are some photos from Galway:
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Today was the last day in the hostel and I was my sad to go. I did not like leaving my bags there since they were so out in the open, but everything was still there so that was good. That morning we visited the Cork City Gaol which is now a museum. They showed us different prisoners and talked about the history. Things were so much different than today and the conditions were much harsher. We saw where the prisoners had there exercise by walking around in a circle. They were always to be a few feet apart from each other because they could not talk to one another.
In the morning, we got to sleep in a little because we didn’t have to leave until 915. That may not seem like sleeping in, but it is when you have been getting up at 6 or 7 everyday. We went to another school and I was with Hannah in 3rd/4th class. We found out that the classes are split like this because they fell under a certain number of students. This caused them to lose one teacher and so they had to combine some classes. The classes are also split by gender after 2nd class. Some people do not understand this, but I went to an all girls high school and I don’t think it has affected me in a negative way. Back in the states, we do not have a lot of elementary gender split schools, but private high schools are sometimes split up. This was probably my favorite class. They were so excited and we spent almost 45 minutes answering their questions. Then when we finished the book, they split into groups and kept asking us more while they were working. Here are some photos:
After leaving the school we had a few hours to relax which was the first time the entire trip. It was so wonderful. After the break, we headed to Aisling’s house for dinner. Her family was so nice. The best part was dessert. They had about 6 or 7 different things. I tried some of everything and they were so good. After dinner we played music and sang some Irish songs. Then Aisling took us out for a night in Cork. We were surprised at all the American music they listened too and most of it was 90′s music. I think we only heard one Irish song the whole night.
Today we visited two schools and we taught lessons at both. At the first school Hanna and I read “Actual Size” and had the children draw something in the room that was the actual size as the object. Some of the children did really well. Other drew their pictures to scale such as a ladybug smaller than a dog but did not make the drawings the actual size of the real object. In the next class we read “Snowglobe Family”. Since the children in this class were much younger we had a simple activity where they drew something they like to do in the snow. Some of them have never played in the snow before. We first talked about ideas of thing they could do in the snow. Then had them pick their favorite. After we taught the school choir and band sung some songs for us. They did “Cups” by Anna Kendricks and did the hand game with the cup while they sang. One girl was very dramatic with her face and looked like a little actress. Here are some pictures of the students and their work:
Next we went to the Titanic Experience where each person is given the name and some details of a person on the ship and when you are done you get to see if you survived or not. They take you through how the passengers boarded, where they would have stayed, and the sinking of the ship. It was awesome to see it through the eyes of the passengers and to notice how differently the rooms from third and first class looked. I was Kate Murphy, who was traveling with he sister to America to live with their brothers and sisters. They were both rescued by lifeboat No. 16. It was sad to see how many people were lost, especially this one mother and her five boys who all died. I took some pictures while I was there:
I was so tired in the morning because we had to leave by 7. It was a two hour drive to the Caves, which was our first visit. They were so awesome. It’s incredible that the structure has lasted so long. You could see how the water formed stalactites and stalagmites and also how they met together after thousands of years. They also have a concert each summer in the caves because the acoustics are so great. I thought that was really interesting. Here are some pictures of the Caves:
After the caves we headed to Sinead’s house where her mom cooked us a fabulous and much needed lunch. We had lasagna, salad, apple pie and little cakes with caramel and chocolate. She was so sweet and made sure everyone had everything they wanted. We all say and relaxed for once, since we had been doing a lot of coming and going since we had arrived. After we left her house we went to Blarney Castle. I was so terrified climbing up the steps because they were spiral and were almost vertical they were so steep. At one point my foot slipped and I almost fell, but I was holding on so it was ok. I did not kiss the Blarney Stone because I was so traumatized by the stairs that I did not want to hang upside down. Here are some photos:
After we were done there we went to the hostel we would be staying at to check in. The rooms are pretty decent sized, but the bathrooms are kind of gross. The shower water only stays on for about 30 seconds and then goes off. So you have to keep pressing a button while you are in there. The beds are not bad though, but I will not be sad to leave this place and go back to Courtbrack.
Today we went to Dublin and we had perfect weather, thank god. We went to the Guinness factory first. I have never had Guinness, so tasting that was an interesting experience. I got a certificate for pouring half a pint. Although I did not really like the taste, so I did not finish that. Here are some pictures of the Guinness factory:
Next stop on our trip was the Book of Kells at Trinity College. It was four books and it is the oldest book in existence. They have remaining parts from each of the four books, although one only has a single page left. Then, also in Trinity College, we saw the oldest library. It was amazing! There were rows and rows of shelves full of books stacked two floors high. It reminded me of the library in Harry Potter because it was such a massive collection. Here are some photos of the library:
In the morning today I went with Katie and Whitney to find the church where Whitney’s great grandmother was married. It was a beautiful church. After that we had a lovely breakfast at BB’s :
Then we drove on a bus to the Cliffs of Moher. The view was so amazing and the water was gorgeous. The day was beautiful and it didn’t rain until after we had gotten back. Here are a bunch of pictures from the cliffs:
Today was our last day at St. Conaire’s school. I really enjoyed my time there and thought all the teachers were very welcoming. I was in first class in the morning with the math support teachers. They did group work and I was impressed with how much the students knew at such a young age. They could count forwards and backwards from any number and located numbers on the 100 chart. They also could do simple addition and subtraction without counting on their fingers. Their teachers encouraged them to plan in their heads and come up with a solution. I thought this was a different, but more effective way of teaching. I have experienced too many students who rely on their fingers to count and add. Here are some pictures from the math groups:
After we had finished helping the classrooms, we watched the children in the fifth and six classes do the play “Oliver”. It was amazing and some of the students were really great actors. Here are some pictures from the play:
Our teacher then surprised us with a trip to Bunratty castle. It was amazing to see although I had some problems getting back down the spiral staircases. The castle was so big and every time we went up a flight of stairs there were four more different ways to go. There was so much to see, but I think we got to all of it. Here are some pictures:
We ended our amazing day with a party thrown by the principal of the school we had been going to for the past three days. It was at a pub called Durty Nelly’s. We drank cider and had some appetizers to eat. Everyone was so nice and we did not want to leave. We learned so much from these teachers and some new ideas to use in our classrooms in the future.