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Ericka Griffin - Week Five in Ireland

This week was very eventful at school. I was never sure which class I was going to end up in. Monday, I was not very happy about the situation I was in. One of the resource teachers used me as a teaching assistant, rather than a student teacher. I spent most of my day in the copy room, rather than the classroom. And, when I was done with copies, the teacher would tell me to organize papers and the room, as if I was not qualified to interact with the students.

However, Tuesday and Wednesday were good experiences. I went to another 3rd class (Mrs. Cruise’s), and her class was wonderful. I had a lot of fun interacting with her students. They taught me how to play Irish Snap, which is a card game. The objective of the game is to randomly flip over Irish cards with illustrations and Irish words. If a pair shows up in the pile, you slap the cards and you gain the entire pile. The objective of the game is to obtain all of the cards. Similar to my other 3rd class, I showed these boys the U.S.’s currency, my driver’s license, and my passports. Most of the boys had already seen American money, but were still thrilled to look at it and touch it.

On Thursday, I observed a 4th class (9 year-olds). The class had a very similar curriculum, except more advanced, to that of a 3rd class. My favorite part of the day was towards the end of the day, the teacher grabbed an acoustic guitar, and the teacher and the students began to sing. After going over the words with the students, the teacher allowed the boys to sing solo or as a group. It was absolutely wonderful to sit and listen to the children sing.

Friday, I had taken a train to Belfast, along with Heather, Grace, and Brittney (our friend from Minnesota). After settling at the Linen House Hostel, we decided to take a Black Taxi Tour of Belfast. Our tour guide was amazing! He told us the history of the political feud between the British and the Irish. He drove us to the Protestant side of the city, where we were able to see the political murals on the buildings. Next, he took us to see “The Wall,” or what he called, “The ‘Berlin Wall’ of Belfast,” which is the wall that divides the two sectors of the city. After taking pictures of “The Wall,” he took us to the Catholic side of the city. The Catholic side of the city contained “The Peace Wall,” where the faces of those who perished in times of turmoil and civil unrest were displayed. The memorial garden contained plaques, which listed the names of the Catholics who had perished. Overall, it was a very enjoyable and thought-provoking experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who is visiting Belfast.

On Saturday, Heather, Grace, Brittney and I took a one-day Paddywagon Tour of Giant’s Causeway and Derry. The bus picked us up in Belfast, and we drove to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. The bridge was built by fishermen, who used to cross it, in order to get to the salmon that were caught in the curvature of the rock formation down below. After seeing the bridge, we visited Giant’s Causeway, which was my favorite part of the day. It was absolutely incredible to see such unusual rock formations, which were created by volcanic eruptions. After seeing Giant’s Causeway, we drove to Derry, where we had dinner. Derry, like Belfast, was also politically divided. In fact, when we arrived, news of a Protestant political march had spread. As we drove off, leaving for Belfast, we heard the band and the marching of the Protestants. Our Paddywagon tour guide/driver was nice enough to drive us all the way back to Dublin, which was wonderful because we did not have to take the train. It had been such an eventful weekend, on Sunday, I decided to rest all day, and I did not make any plans. I am very thankful that I did not, because I was well-rested for Monday.

Again, I have not had access to another computer, so I cannot upload pictures yet. As soon as I gain access to a computer with a working USB connection, I will upload pictures.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 7, 2009 6:30 PM.

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