Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An emotional rollercoaster

Hello world!

As I mentioned several days ago, I went on a Sunday to visit the small fisherman's town of Cobh. This was the last place where the S.S. Titanic anchored it ship to pick up and drop off passengers. However, it never really did stop next to the dock, because it had to beat out all the other ships when it came to delivering mail. So in order to save time, passengers had to wait on an old rickety wooden dock, board a smaller ship, and ferry away towards the Titanic. There were over a hundred passengers from Cobh, and only 20 something survived on that deadly night when she sank.

After the tour, Sarah and I went to a local cafe for lunch. If you take the Titanic Tour, they give you a complementary tea, and oh boy is it complementary! We were given our own pot with a side of milk and lots of sugar packets. It was delicious! I ended up getting a BLT on a toasted bagel with a side of potato chips. What was interesting about this sandwich was that the bacon was very thick, and meaty, unlike how we normally do it crispy at home. I enjoyed it very much, and I have to say, it was one of the best BLTs I've ever tasted.

The best part about visiting Cobh was the trip to Spike Island. The same man who does the Titanic tour has campaigned for ten years to allow people to visit the island because of it's rich history. It was only this year that he was able to give tourers, and I was very lucky in that the tour ended in September, but he asked for permission to keep it going until the end of October.

Spike Island was used by Monks during the time of the vikings. It continued to be a sanctuary for these holy men up until the 20th century, when it became a place to hold temporary prisoners. However, there were periods in which prisoners were held there for 36 and 19 years, which isn't so temporary. Stationed on the island during this time period as well was men of the Navy. Each man and his family was allowed to live in a small cottage or share one with others depending upon his rank. The houses are still standing, although they're crumbling on the inside. Up on the top most hill is where the forts and prison cells sit, along with a very fancy house, but I can't remember who lived in it. If you ever visit Cobh or have any interest in it, I highly suggest looking up Spike Island and getting to know it's history.

I've been feeling horrible about my studies. My theatre classes conflict with my other lecture courses some of the time, and I'm just afraid that I'm not being a very good student by allowing this to happen. I could change my schedule, but I've already bought my books and read some of them for Victorian Literature and 19th Century American Literature. The other issue is that we don't even know when the times of the rehearsals are. The professors pick times that don't conflict with the classes that students have to take that year, so for those of us international students who take whatever we want, it becomes quite difficult. Also, I haven't been keeping up with the readings. I still have 13 pages left from the first book for Victorian Lit, and I'm already supposed to be at least 100 pages into Tess. I've been so caught up in planning trips and not sticking around during the weekends that I've neglected some of my studies. I've been pretty good about going to class, except when I had a cold the week before last and I skipped Victorian literature and 19th century to rest. I have two essays on November 2nd for both of those courses, and I just don't feel prepared as I should be. Balancing out the fun and work is such a hard thing to do, and it makes it even more difficult when I wasn't in school for nearly 4 months! Ahh. /end rant.

I have to say, I totally misjudged Tesco grocery store. Before I said it was very like Walmart, and I didn't like it at all, but after taking another late night trip over there (all the other stores close around 6pm, and Tesco is open until 9), I've changed my mind. Firstly, the prices are amazing! Secondly, they have way more variety in food. I was so happy to find canned soup (all the other stores carry it dry in plastic packets), as well as sparkling grape juice, Nestle Crunch Bars, Capris Sun, LAUGHING COW CHEESE!! *jigs*, mac n' cheese (they don't have Kraft in a box or anything in a box, but they do have it in the refrigerated isle), and eight packets of hot chocolate for only 3 euro (it was on sale)! The downside is having to carry it all back, since it's further away, but the savings are great. I was able to get several meals, cereal, snacks, and stuff to drink for 41 euro. If I had gone to Supervalu or Mark and Spencers, it would have cost double that more than likely.

I haven't been so happy lately, because my roles are so tiny in the class production. I'm usually one who will take up a part without complaint, but I feel like the roles were unevenly distributed. Also, the lady who teaches the class kept forgetting me when she was telling us who got what roles in what play. I have three lines between my two parts, none of which are funny, witty, or really have an important meaning. I'm willing to speak up on my behalf, because I would like to do something more than just ask if so and so is home, or give a simple nod when answering a question with two lines of speech.

On a better note, I visited my voice instructor yesterday, and she helped me find my natural way of breathing. I was also able to get my voice down low in a state of peace and calm. That's my natural voice, and now I'm going to be working on not talking in such a high pitch. I'm just so grateful that I finally have this opportunity, because I've been wanting to do it for so long- 5 years in fact. I have specific exercises that I'm supposed to be doing daily, and I plan on working as hard as I can. I can already talk in a low pitch, it's just difficult for me to do it seriously, because whenever I do, I'm usually imitating someone who speaks that way.

Guess what! I've finally booked my flight for Paris, France! I'll be traveling there from December 3rd-5th. I have no clue what the plans are yet, but Sarah has a friend who's studying there and will be hanging out and giving us a good tour of the place. I'm really hoping that The Louvre and The Eiffel Tower aren't closed when arrive, since there's a high terror alert around those areas...

Facts of the day:
-Sometimes I find that Cork people are some what ignorant when it comes to the confederate flag. They wave the old Southern symbol during rallies and times of celebration, and just today I saw someone wearing it on a T-shirt, who was clearly not American. I don't really take offense to it, so much as I'm puzzled as to why they promote the flag. I tried looking this up, but nothing relevant is appearing in my searches.
-As I stated before, there is NO MAC n' CHEESE! I almost cry every time I go down the isles and realize there will never be such a thing in the pasta section. They don't even have ravioli in a can, or Speghettio's. Some stores carry mac n' cheese in the refrigerated isle, but it's very bland.
-Something I learned from an Irish woman yesterday. Never tell an Irish boy you want to have dinner. Breakfast and lunch is ok, but never dinner. Why? Having dinner means you want them to meet your parents and get married. Also, Irishmen are quite shy! Most of them will talk to your friend instead of directly asking you out.
-Irishmen will also leave you at the pub. They don't really "leave" you there, but they'll sit you at the bar, order a few pints and hang out with their buddies out on the dance floor. You can join them, I suppose, but I find it very odd that the guy wouldn't want to court his lass throughout the night, ya know?
-Have you ever noticed that most people stop breathing when listening in on a conversation? Random fact. :)

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