After breakfast, everyone got back into the routine of classes. Due to the comfortable weather, Angie took the students outside for Irish Literature and read “The First Confession,” by Frank O’Connor. Anna mentioned that she really liked the story, and Carrick enthusiastically said, “I was enthralled by the idea of a ‘stream of consciousness’ novel.” In Brigid’s Irish American History class, they learned about the American Presidential connection to Ireland, and they watched the speeches of JFK, Clinton, and Obama during their visits to the Emerald Isle. Shona discussed the history of the Irish language in Gaelic class, and she also touched upon the importance of the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) areas throughout Ireland. Taryn focused on slang and vocabulary in the Irish Studies class today, teaching them words such as “lift,” “crisps,” and a “fry.” She also provided them with a study sheet on the various counties of Ireland which the students will be quizzed on during the next few class days.
Once classes were over, we ate lunch on campus and then boarded the bus for Peter Flanagan’s. Peter is a master hurley maker and showed the students the process of making the unique game piece from ash wood. He’s very talented and makes the Waterford hurling team’s hurlies. The students were very impressed and many of them bought souvenirs for their families and friends back home. We took a few pictures with Peter and his wife, Patrice-along with their beautiful children, JJ and Katie.
We then made our way to the seaside town of Tramore, County Waterford. Luckily, The Promenade Festival was taking place there at the same time as our visit, so the students got to enjoy various musical performances, shopping stalls, and amusement rides. Some of them also waded their feet into the sparkling waters of Tramore Bay which lapped against the lush, green landscape of County Waterford.
Once we arrived back at Newtown School in Waterford at 5:30 PM, we ate dinner and then the students headed into the drama program. The task for tonight was to create a limerick based on the historical figure assigned to their group. After presenting their acts, a panel of judges chose the Samuel Beckett group (Brendan, Christina, Katie, Keely, Mariah, and Molly), as the winner-they did an excellent job! Prizes for the chosen team were books such as Ulysses and The Dubliners. The day ended with Irish dance, as Counselor Casey reviewed the ceili “The Walls of Limerick,” showed them a jig, and talked about the type of shoes and socks that are used in Irish step dancing.
To cap off the night-Ana, Jess, and Kaitlin took Taryn’s St. Brigid’s Cross Workshop. They started making the traditional crosses-used to protect homes from fire-with pipe cleaners and then moved on to the more intricate reeds. Jess dazzled us all with her miniature crosses, while Miley fell a little short with his attempt to make one. We appreciated the effort though.
It’s hard for us all to believe that almost a whole week has passed! We are looking forward to tomorrow’s trip to Dublin for the Leinster hurling finals at Croke Park!