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A Taste of Irish Lectures by Noel Thompson

May 4, 2012 | By | No Comments

Student Ambassador Noel Thompson is studying at UCD. Here he gives us a great rendition of his experiences with Irish lectures:





#1- Being responsible for 100% class attendance:

My Protestants, Papists, and Popular Belief: A History of the Reformation class seemed to be an enthralling choice when I was signing up for classes. I’ve always had a passing interest in history, and I figured that I might as well find out some information about the religious background of Ireland while I was here.

Not only was the lecture my first one at UCD, it gave me a vague understanding of how the professors would address the class for the rest of the semester. So there was a lot riding on this first day.


The lecture was only an hour, but was paired with a 1-hour “small” group meeting that they call a tutorial here (sometimes they call it a recitation back home). So, we learned about King Henry VIII and his need for the heir and the Tudor dynasty..etc, but the real important part was our involvement in the talk-back during the small group sessions with our professor.


So, one of the more overwhelming fears I’ve had in my time at University is a fear of being in a one-on-one situation with professors. Call it a fear of authority, or maybe just a problem with intimacy, but it’s a problem I’ve always had. At UNC, we have Teaching Assistants come in and give you the information in small groups, so you don’t have to insult the teacher by not knowing the material. It’s like a buffer system.


I walk into my required tutorial after glancing at my notes from class and relying on the fact that other students will be able to help me out. At this point, I’m still arriving to class relatively early to make sure I’m in the correct room (most of the time, students here arrive exactly on time or a couple minutes late). So, I pull up a chair/desk, sit down in this expansive lecture hall, and wait for the others to arrive.


And wait.


With about 2 minutes left until class, I peak my head out to see my surroundings. I’m beginning to get nervous, because I’m still the only person here. There has to be some mistake. I’ve come to the wrong room. That can be the only solution. But no, instead I see my professor come ambling down the hall, walking through the door on the far side of the room.


My professor, Dr. Mark Empey, takes a glance around the room, and motions at a single wooden table with two chairs at the front. After explaining to me briefly that there was some confusion with registration and that the class wasn’t available when it was supposed to be, he smiles and informs me that


“You will be the only student enrolled in this section”


Now, I’m not one with a weak constitution normally, but the concept of spending an hour with Mark probing what I absorbed from his class gave me the combined need to faint/run away/cry/throw things across the room.


It actually ended up being a blessing in disguise, as Mark was generally ok with the fact that I wasn’t COMPLETELY prepared for the meeting, and humorous with the fact that I made up 100% of the class. We ended up meeting this way for a couple more weeks before I transferred into a bigger section, much to my surprised chagrin.


The material may have disappeared into the back of my head, but the memory of the day I conquered my fear of professors will live on.


NUI Galway’s Annual Arts Ball

May 3, 2012 | By | No Comments

Siobhan gives us a report on the festivities at NUI-Galway:

“The Students of NUI Galway At Their Finest!”

One of my favourite events held at NUI Galway is the Arts Ball.  This is a ball that happens in the first few weeks of the second semester and is a formal event that students can go to.  Hearing that it was something that I would get to wear a gown to, I was already sold on going to this event, but that was only the beginning of the reasons why the Arts Ball is so great.  First, there is the fact that there are two ticket options.  You can either buy a “Full Ticket,” which starts at 6:00 pm and includes a champagne reception and a 3-course meal, or you could opt for an “Afters Ticket,” which starts just after the dinner and includes everything else!

Last year I only opted for the Afters Ticket, as I wasn’t sure what the night would have in store for me, but I enjoyed it so much last year, that I went for a Full Ticket this year! Second is the entertainment.  Last year the band “The Rubberbandits” were there and a bunch of other acts and DJs kept the party going all night.  This year, the headlining act was MojoGogo and there were of course other acts and DJs as well.  The third reason that I went is for the craic! These are really popular events so you’re bound to bump just about everybody you know

The Arts Ball is one of the bigger formal events held by the college, but another big one is the Commerce Ball, which I did not personally attend, but is the most popular.  This year they had Rizzle Kicks performing and tickets sold out for it within a few hours! Other popular ones include the Medicine Ball, Law Ball, Engineering Ball, and Nursing and Midwifery Ball.  While last year I only went to the Arts Ball, but this year I went to the Law Ball as well, as I have many friends that are in the Law program.  It was smaller, but by no means was it less fun!  These events are a really fun (and fancy!) way to celebrate being back to college after Christmas! Plus, it’s a good excuse to get another use out of that prom dress you bought in high school that you promised your parents you would wear again!

NUI-Galway Student Ambassador Siobhan Keenan receives her Certificate of Irish Heritage

Gill Roe Manager-Education in Ireland and Siobhan Keenan recieving her certificateIn a ceremony at Ireland’s Department of Education and Skills on Friday 20th April, Education in Ireland’s first ever group of student Ambassadors were presented with certificates of achievement by Secretary General, Seán Ó Foghlú.


On receiving her Certificate Siobhan stated


“I’m really excited to have my Irish Heritage Certificate.  Being Irish is something I’ve always been proud of and now I have something beautiful to show for it!”

NUIM Student Ambassador Olivia Wirtanen receives her Certificate of Irish Heritage

In a ceremony at Ireland’s Department of Education and Skills on Friday 20th April, Education in Ireland’s first ever group of student Ambassadors were presented with certificates of achievement by Secretary General, Seán Ó Foghlú.

On reciept of her Certificate Olivia Stated

“What an honor and privilege to be recognized in my ancestral home by receiving the Certificate of Irish Heritage.  It’s wonderful that the Irish government extends a welcome to their brothers and sisters who grew up in foreign countries.  I’m truly thankful for this opportunity to represent the legacy of my ancestors and acknowledge the arduous journey from their homeland of Ireland to the promising nation of America”

Gill Roe Manager-Education in Ireland and Olivia Wirtanen recieving her Certificate of Irish Heritage