On Tuesday, there were many tears shed, as the ILE had their last class day. Not really, but it started to hit the students that they only had a little over a week left on the Emerald Isle. Sadness all around! “I don’t want to go home,” Eme said. She is amazed by how quickly the program has flown by.
The day started out bright and early with breakfast at half eight. Cereal, toast, and OJ filled the ILE’s stomachs, as they gained brain nutrition for the long day ahead.
Classes started out with Angie reading the last few pages of Ulysses by James Joyce to give the students a good feel for his writing. David even had a chance to read aloud to the students and nearly had a panic attack by the lack of punctuation. Angie then read Easter 1916 by WB Yeats. Since Scones had talked a lot about the 1916 Rebellion in her Irish history class, Yeats’ writings tied in nicely. She also read excerpts of Digging by Seamus Heaney. Angie finished up her literature class with a story by Patrick Kavanagh-In Memory of My Father. Keely said she really enjoyed Angie’s Irish literature class and is looking forward to going back to Spokane and learning more about Irish authors. Brigid then led into her Irish American history class, where the remaining students gave 2-3 minute presentations on an Irish American that has influenced their life. Brigid was thoroughly impressed by Grace’s presentation about her grandfather. What an amazing man he truly is! Taryn rounded out the day with a class on how Ireland has evolved over the past 25+ years, since she first started coming to Ireland. She emphasized how things have changed (For the good and the bad.) and how the students can try and keep Irish culture alive in the states. The students gave some very insightful thoughts and are definitely going to try and promote Irish culture and share everything they learned in Ireland when they go home.
The bulk of the afternoon was spent preparing for their Drama Presentations. All of the students were busy rehearsing their lines and coordinating their costumes for the half three performance. Samuel Beckett was first on stage and Brendan did a spectacular improvised version of his life. Molly was also extremely comical. Thumbs up! Next up was Oscar Wilde and Rocky’s costume stole the whole show. Sae Bae also got an honorable mention for her stellar acting skills. It was a fantastic account of the writer’s life. The James Joyce group decided they would like to go next and they definitely wowed the audience with their neon costumes-especially Alex and Dylan. I’m not sure who coaxed Alex and Dylan into wearing neon ABBA outfits, but they rocked the look. The group brought it back old school, with a Fresh Prince of Bel Air rap edited to depict James Joyce’s life. They then did a dramatic recreation of his adulthood. We were blown away by their creativity. Last up for the afternoon was the WB Yeats’ Group and Aaron and Stephen did an excellent job relaying Yeats’ spectacular works to the group.
The judges truly were in a tough predicament, as all of the presentations were brilliant. The groups were judged on historical content, teamwork, and creativity. Even though Ninny tried to bribe the judges vote with some Crunchies-Angie, Brigid, and Taryn came to a unanimous decision that the grand prize would go to the WB Yeats’ Group. Aaron, Ana, Caitlin, Megan, and Stephen would enjoy a night out in Killarney, as they found out they won Ghost Tour tickets in Killarney. Stephen said he couldn’t wait for the spooky adventures ahead in the next few days.
After the Drama Presentations, the students packed for Killarney and then had a chance to enjoy a delicious BBQ-courtesy of our friend, Patrick, at King’s Hospital. The students gobbled down hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken on skewers. Linnea said it was delicious and a nice taste of “home.”
The adventures didn’t stop there, as it was Take 2 for Riverdance. Twenty students ended up attending Riverdance and were so excited to get all dolled up-yet again for the brilliant Irish dancing phenomenon.
2014 marked the 20th anniversary of Riverdance, since it appeared on the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest at the Point Theatre in Dublin. The show has been seen LIVE by 25 million people, with over 11,000 performances in 46 countries across six continents. It was a special evening and their was lots of toe tapping to the beat from the students. Irish dancing teacher and Counselor Casey said the students were definitely on their way to the Riverdance level after their hard work the past few weeks during the ILE. Jess, Mariah, Molly, and Rocky definitely were moved by the two main dancers and said that it was special to see it at the Gaiety in Dublin, IRELAND-nonetheless.
After the show, Angie and Taryn let the students stroll down Grafton and enjoy some ice-cream and gelato. Carmel and Mint Chocolate Chip were the favorite choices of the evening. Once the students filled their tummies with some sugar, they were met by the ILE’s special friend and most amazing bus driver-Brian Farrell, from Burren Coaches. He welcomed the students onto his bus with disco lights and music pumping. The students would be riding in the lap of luxury for the next week with one of Ireland’s best tour guides. Thanks Brian!
The 15 minute bus ride home with filled with many chats and lolz, as the students bus surfed, danced, and drove around the round about 10x. The craic was definitely magical.
It was an early night, as the students crashed pretty quickly. They were excited to get to their new home and looked forward to a new day’s adventure.