Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mars Bars

Hey all....okay so things are ALMOST coming together. I moved into my new place which is pretty easy when you can get a ride from a friend and only have a few bags. Dennis my roommate, is pretty cool like I said. I am pretty much the same distance from town but only 5 minutes from the Supervalu (cheap groceries) and the school, which is nice.

Today was an easy day at school. Unlike most schools in the States, you can come in late and/or leave early if your classes are done with. This week I have not picked up the full load but Wednesdays and Thursdays will be somewhat light for me. Hopefully I can get most of my planning done at this time which has been going good so far. I know I have mentioned my schedule but basically for the next few weeks I will have two Geography classes with first years(7th grade) and one Hist/Geog class with fourth years (10th grade). Also I will be splitting time with three different first-year History classes. It shouldn't be too bad but like I said, it will be good experience with a variety of teachers and students.

I didn't get to Cork last night but I did manage to give my computer to Lisa's daughters to bring in to get worked on. Hopefully I will have more on that soon.

So tomorrow immediately after school Kathryn and I are getting a ride to Killarney (about 45 minutes away) and heading by train to Dublin. It should be a good weekend and because I will probably have even more limited internet I will just plan on being online again on Monday. Kathryn has friends in Dublin and two of my friends from Auburn will be there times.

So I learned Cadbury has a factory somewhere close here....I didn't realize it was an Irish brand? This could explain the numerous Cadbury Cream Eggs I have consumed even though it is only January. They are everywhere. Also, the store I am in now I just bought a Mars bar which I am pretty sure doesn't exist in the States anymore.....anyway, I am thinking about getting a second. It is a good thing it is like 5 kilometers round trip to the school and gym that I walk everyday.

That is all, till Monday....


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Hey all...thanks again for everyone on facebook and by other means that sent me nice birthday messages and birthday was wonderful and it started very late on Thursday night with a few pints at some of the local pubs...which started it off right.

Thursday like I said I went out with some of the teachers at Kenmare, Lisa and Vince. Friday I went out with Lisa and some of her daughters and Kathryn (from UGA) and some others met us out. Saturday night was more of the same with a good band playing in Kenmare followed by time with friends afterwards. Is it sad that my favorite thing about the pubs I learned is that after last call, you can buy beer to go? Anyway, I had a good weekend and remember most of it which is a good thing.

Mixed with a little movie watching and another Lisa-made dinner on Sunday was the extent of my weekend. It was pretty lazy at times but exactly the weekend I needed. The first couple days of this week I have taught a few classes. On Tuesday afternoons I have Humanities with Transition Year Students. This is equivalent to 10th graders in a class that is mixed with history and geography. Over the next month I am going to be doing a study on Haiti with them which out of all my classes, will allow me to be the most creativity and freedom in my teaching. The kids are great and the class should be very interesting. The rest of the week for teaching is not too busy which will give me a lot of time to prepare for next week.

Wednesday and Friday I will be leaving school early both days for some traveling. Tomorrow I am getting a ride with Lisa to Cork which is a little over an hour away to hang out there and hopefully give my Mac to some people to get it fixed up. Friday I am leaving with Kathryn to travel by train to Dublin. A couple friends from Auburn will be in Dublin that weekend and Kathryn has friends there as well so we have a place to stay. There is a lot to see Saturday but Sunday we are going to 'We Will Rock You.' This is the musical based on Queen's music and I got word that Brian May (original member of Queen) might be playing on Sunday...who knows, but it will be nice to get around other parts of Ireland.

Everything else is going well. I found a new place with a guy named Dennis who is a carpenter and probably not too much older than me. He lives right past the school I work at and about a kilometer from town. This situation is considerably cheaper and a better deal for me. My new address is on my previous post. Here I will NOT have internet but will have a washer/dryer, more than four channels of cable and control over my own heat. I randomly got Dennis' number when calling another add and was referred to him...I went over last night and had made the decision within almost a minute. Dennis even gave me a ride home....just a good deal. The only disadvantage I can forsee besides internet is the gym is now further away and to get there, I basically have to walk by the pubs. Ohhhhh well.

All is well, how are you? Meeting some cool people here in Kenmare, and things are coming together.


Monday, January 25, 2010


ok so this is rather important.....i found a new place and my address is changing tomorrow. just got the keys and will be moving in stuff tomorrow. I did get the things that were sent out for my birthday. Thank you it was a great weekend and I will have more updates on what I did tomorrow.

Matt Goula
23 Killmurry, Cill Mhuire
Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Parts of that are in Irish, do not be confused. As a side note, I miss the Jackson 5.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Ok so I have to run and I will write more this weekend or tomorrow possibly if I have time, but I have my tentative full schedule for the next 8 weeks. Pretty amazing that between the week off in February and two weeks off for Easter in April, I will be done with all my teaching by the end of March, in only about two months. I will be teaching some courses the first four weeks, some the second four weeks and some all eight weeks. There are a lot of opportunities but most of my teaching will be with first year (7th grade) Geography as well as younger levels of History and Civil, Social, and Political Education classes with possibly room for some mentoring of students behind in their classes.

Tuesday night I went to dinner with Kathryn from UGA, who is staying in Kenmare but teaching outside the town. It was a good time and it was fun to learn of a new American in this small town even though she had heard about me this weekend already. Tonight I am going to dinner at Lisa's house who is the American English teacher here in Kenmare and has been very nice (like everyone) and helpful with my stay. Really she is just the tip of the care and concern for every teacher and other Irish soul in this town that looks out for how I am adjusting and doing. After dinner, it may be time for a few pints.

This weekend I will be hanging out here, but possibly Dublin next weekend as well as Cork sometime within the week. Hopefully there I will have a place for the Mac to get fixed. I have to go shower before dinner with the teachers. This next week is very exciting. I hope all is well.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good day

Hey all...when I was at the gym, Judge Judy was on...three different channels. I guess Irish TV is lacking. However, today was a good day at school. I observed with a few classes, mostly second years which would translate into 7th graders, roughly. One history class was going over the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution which was convenient since I just got done teaching that this past semester. That class also gave me a round of applause when I introduced myself although I am sure it was mostly to drag out time...

I will most likely be teaching at least a couple Geography classes it looks like this semester. Students have either the choice to pick Geography OR History for their schoolwork and I am pretty excited because I think Geography is underrated and I think I could have some fun with it. Also I might have some options to teach History classes, Humanities (Geography and History combined) and this class CSP (Civic, Social and Political Education) or mostly like Civics in the states. That would also be super fun as I went through the text this morning and looked like it had lots of options. Also one teacher Dianne, who might be giving me her two Geography classes, also has a class that is strictly case studies in which we basically pick what we want to teach and I might have that. Whatever the case, I have a lot of options and probably will be finalized tomorrow on what course(s) I will be teaching. It looks like I could have short stints teaching them all over the next few months. Very cool and looking forward to it.

Have to run, about to go to dinner with another American......from UGA.....;) More on that later.


Monday, January 18, 2010


Hey was a good day at school. I met some more teachers, met and talked with the COST coordinator for Ireland and sat in on a couple classes. The COST coordinator who basically is just responsible for getting my placement and is available in case I need anything, was a real nice guy. At this time the Principal, along with many of the teachers who are familiar with Mr. Burns (coordinator) sat down with us too. It was really cool because although the Principal and Vice Principal are super busy, they both make time out to make sure I get situated and just to talk to me the two days I have been there so far. I am not sure about classes yet, but I will probably be taking over history, geography or civics classes in the near future. I shall know more tomorrow.

Lisa (the American teacher) let me sit in her English class while they were discussing Afghanistan which was not only interesting, but probably information I could use more knowledge on. She has been probably been the most helpful and she invited me and some others to dinner this week and I may also take a trip one afternoon with her to Cork which is about 45 minutes away and a pretty cool smaller city in the Southern part of Ireland. Also made friends with the music teacher today along with some others....Nothing against Opelika High School where I did my student teaching last semester, but this one-on-one time with the Principal and having been introduced to most of the teachers the first day was something I wasn't used to. Don't get me wrong, the Opelika High staff was very nice and accommodating but the camaraderie I have felt since entering Kenmare Community School has been great.

Looks like I am going to have to call Apple for the laptop issue, so I will be trying to get online as much as possible in the next week or two without it. May try and get to Dublin in the next weekend or two to visit some American friends but also the Queen musical, 'We Will Rock You' is could that not be a good time?

Talk soon,

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Matt Goula
c/o Sheila Calahane
River Park, Killarney Rd.
Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Sorry for the delay on this. I know, no numbers is weird but this should be correct. After a late night all I managed to do was to go to the gym today. However, tomorrow I will be back in the school and probably just observing for a few days. Should be fun. Last night I went out with some new Irish friends and we had a good time. Effe's which is the Turkish food place I was referring to in another post, is like Taco Bell. Open late and delicious food. Anyway, just felt like sharing that. I have a lot to do tomorrow so I think I will be going and watching some more American Idol. Those New Englanders are making me proud, haha...


Friday, January 15, 2010


Hey i haven't the best luck these past few weeks with electronics. Tonight my Mac shorted out or something and won't turn on I think from like the smallest drop of water....any help? My ipod was acting crazy and is okay for now but then my alarm clock went and today my umbrella (that was given to me by the lady at the restaurant i had lunch at) snapped leaving my bag soaked and probably why my Mac is dead.

However, it's the weekend and I am in Ireland...everyone have a good weekend and be happy. Address tomorrow because well, birthday in one week.....presents are welcome.


Kilograms to pounds

Hey all...So I went to the school today which I thought would be my first full day. However the Principal (who when he first saw me yesterday called me 'Matt from America' referring to my last post)...was not here today. He actually invited me to Dublin yesterday afternoon with all the 'First Years' for some science competition....maybe I should have accepted. I hung out in the teacher's lounge for half the way getting to know new teachers. Every time I met one of them I got a greeting that made me feel like I knew them all my life and that I was welcome anytime, which was nice to hear. The Deputy Principal talked to me a little but she was a little busy being the one in charge and also having a broken wrist, so I left early after she said 'you can come and go here as you please.' I'll take that with a grain of salt.

Most of next week will be observing and looking at the different options. The school purposely has not assigned me a teacher yet because they wanted to see my interests and maybe who would best fit my personality. One teacher who is the American teacher from Boston originally, took me under her wing and teaches English but offered to have me sit in on an introductory lesson on Afghanistan before reading the Kite Runner on Monday. I like how relaxed the setting is so far and all the teachers show up with no negative attitudes or dramatic stories, and they all seem to get along and enjoy doing what they are doing. I know its Friday but I have a feeling it is always like this. Everyone did not take long to know me by name.

Address coming REAL soon I promise. Thanks for the emails and addresses. Tonight I will probably hit up one of the pubs later but until then, avoiding the rain and going to the gym again which is why at the moment i am currently looking up kilograms/pounds and kilometers/miles converting charts. Why can't we all be on one system?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Matt, from America

Hey was a pretty nice day today for my standards.....however i now know it is still too cold for this area even though it is not below freezing until really late at night. last night i had the first person to outright ask me if I was American and she was Chinese.....working at a Turkish food joint. Just a few hours ago I went to the school I will be teaching at. I met the Principal and Deputy (Vice?) Principal and the Secretaries. I did not stay for long and I am going in tomorrow for my first full day. However, I now know the teacher break room is open late and I should be able to if need be, be online till like 11 or 12 since the school is open late for whatever reason. So i might be able to skype after all.

Joined a gym today. It's got a pool. Going there now.

Address is coming soon.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Impressions

Hey's amazing the day Kenmare is seeing right now after my arrival day of hard rain and gale-force winds. It's bright and sunny and absolutely gorgeous although some of the town and area are seeing the affects of a long couple weeks of snow, ice and rain that they are not necessarily used to here. The rain is normal for the winter, but it is finally just starting to get warm enough (average high 30s and low 40s) to melt the ice away. Today down Main Street I walked by a number of people pushing brooms and getting off the rocks they used like we would use salt and sand in New England.

Yesterday I arrived safe and sound after a long day on busses from Shannon Airport to Limerick, then to Tralee, then through Kilarney to Cork and back from Cork to Kilarney (not supposed to happen) and finally from Kilarney the 45 minutes down to Kenmare. It was a long story but let's just say I was very sleepy and may have slept my way all the way to Cork which allowed for about 3-4 hours longer of a trip then I needed.

Sheila Calahene, the lady and her family I am staying with are very nice. Although she has her full Irish accent she lived in New Jersey for 18 years (no wonder she moved back ;) ). I have followed my orders from many and took pictures of the place I am staying at and the town I am living in within the next couple days I will have them posted. The walk into the two main streets that make the town is about 15 minutes on a bad day and the school and everything else I need are within sight. The streets are lined with pubs and restaurants, little shops of all kinds and supermarkets; a lot for a suprisingly small town. I have heard different estimates at the population and I would guess that Kenmare is about 7,000 people...but Sheila told me the school I am working in which is the only Secondary School in the area has about 400 students. Seems like a great school and I will be going there to meet the principal tomorrow who I have been told like many teachers, is very young and nice and will welcome me like they have many Americans in the recent past.

My first night here, I walked into town which was somewhat dead at even 8pm. I picked one of the pubs, O'Murchu's and had a pint (not Guinness yet) and met Fin who bartends there and invited me back for poker and pool tonight (Wedneday). Fin has been to Boston, NY, Las Vegas and Los Angeles and like the people I have talked to here so far, knows a good amount about the States. Most pubs during the week are open to midnight even though it is the offseason. January and February are the slowest/coldest months and I have been told once St. Patty's day comes around, many different cultures of people come to Kenmare including Americans as it is a tourist hotspot. Actually last night I ate at the Taj Mahal, the local Thai restaurant. I was surprised along with the couple dozen pubs, Chinese, Thai and Italian restaurants also line the streets.

Ok so my posts will hopefully not be this superlong. That and also a couple things:
1. I cannot call much or text so this will be my main point of keeping along with Facebook (which will have most of my pictures).
2. I do not have internet at the house I am staying at but between the school, my phone and the few internets places at the different stores and post office, I will be able to get online daily.
3. Because of this Skype probably will not happen that much. But my username anyways is mattgoula if you do that sort of thing.
4. I try my best to make sense and revise my posts, but grammar and spelling mistakes will happen, a lot. Don't judge. More updates soon.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Almost Flight Time

Hello all,

It's amazing to sit in Logan International Airport in what I can only assume in the 'Western European' terminal and hear the different accents and languages come out. I like to people watch and this is a good place for it. I will be boarding for Shannon Ireland in about an hour and arrive tomorrow morning (Jan. 12) after a 6-hour flight. I haven't had a flight that long since it was a teen but I should be able to keep busy. I will talk to y'all tomorrow.


Monday, January 4, 2010

One Week

Sooooooo for those of you that did not know, I would guess by now you can figure out that I will be traveling to Ireland this coming semester. I leave one week from today and will be there until late April. Look up Kenmare, Ireland in County Kerry when you have a second and you will see many links to the attractions, sights and beauty that I am only beginning to know as Ireland.

This week will just be spent getting ready for my trip and the work I will have with it. I will be working in a Secondary School in a History classroom and I'll have more information on that later. See you in one week!

-Matt Goula-