Okay, so first off…I LOVE CORK (or Corcaigh as they spell it here). It is a beautiful, interesting, friendly city. Every day I walk on cobblestone along the river to school and pass brightly colored doors and buildings that look like castles, all the while listening to the lovely Irish brogue that surrounds me. Our apartment is great. It is really big, with a balcony that looks out over the river. Save for the severe lack of hot water, a showerhead that refuses to work and a dryer that leaves clothes soaking wet, I love it. Hopefully all of those kinks will be worked out within the next few days.
My roommates are great! Erin, my actual roommate, is from San Francisco and goes to school at Loyola Chicago. Our apartment-mates Kelsea and Kristin are also from the West Coast.
School started on Monday. Us International Students spent the whole day in meetings so we didn’t attend classes until Tuesday. So far, I have been to my Irish Folklore Class (which seems very interesting, but is only for international students which limits my interaction with Irish students, unfortunately), my Art History Modernism to Postmodernism class (this one is good, all Irish students and me, which is intimidating but definitely a good experience), my Themes in Celtic Literature class (very interesting and different from anything I have taken in the states) and my Anglo-Irish Lit course (which seems like it will be cool especially since I am not familiar with any of the texts that we will be studying). I should go to my Culture, Literature and Language of Ireland class for the first time tomorrow, so we will see how that goes. The Irish school system is very different, and has definitely been the biggest adjustment for me since I have been here. I am not technically registered for any classes yet, which is strange and a little annoying since I am not able to access certain information on blackboard etc. By Tuesday, when I register, hopefully all of that will be sorted out.
The weather here has been quite different from what I expected. It is very cold, icy and snowy, which is unusual for the normally rainy and mild climate of Ireland. It feels a lot like home right now in that sense.
Aside from exploring Cork, we also ventured out to Blarney Castle (a 15 minute bus ride away). It was absolutely stunning. The castle itself was impressive, and with all of the frost on the ground it looked beautiful. We climbed to the top and kissed the stone despite the fact that we have heard people like to both pee and spit on it, and that by doing so we are declaring our allegiance to England.
So there is the first update! I am definitely going to try and write here more often to document all of the great craic we have been having! (Craic means fun, by the way).