Sunday, February 28, 2010


Hey some have noticed, I have put many pictures up on my facebook account. Here is the link:

I still have some more to put up, but you can see the beginnings of our February break road trip from the Ring of Kerry, Dingle, and so on.

This weekend, again spent in Kenmare. Last night we went to a few new pubs we had not been to for a few pints. I learned there were 17 pubs in Kenmare, so I think now I have been maybe to half of them (not all in the same night).

Friday I bit my lip biting an apple. But this wasn't a normal lip/cheek or other biting. It was normal in that it bled like crazy and I could not stop it for a while. However it wasn't like my teeth chopped down on it but more like it got pinched (probably because I took too big of a bite). It is okay now but I just wanted to share.

This week marks past the halfway point in my teaching, and I switch a few classes after the end of this coming week. There are three groups or classes of first years, and I teach them all. Right now every first year I teach in their given History class one out of three classes of the week. I will continue to have those classes but I a will be giving up two Geography classes that I teach full time and get the the third first-year Geography class next week. There are a few other changes but my point is the next month I will have a schedule that is not as busy. This is good in that I will have lots of time to do my other work and maybe some traveling and other things. However it will be sad giving classes back so soon. Only one more month of teaching as i will be completely done before the Easter break at the end of March. It has gone by fast!

Not much else planned for this week as far as extracurricular activities. Thursday will be busy with soccer and afterwords we will be having Mexican with cervezas as we play Apples to Apples. Lisa bought it on her trip to the US earlier this month so it will be fun to play that game with the Irish. Good times.

That is all for now,

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Hey today I played football-somewhat successfully-for the second time since I have been here. The first time was a couple weeks ago and I was proud to say I did not embarrass myself too much. Football, being soccer of course. Tonight there was a light rain part of the night but the sky was clear and it did not take long to warm up. It felt good getting some exercise other than what a gym has to offer. It doesn't matter what kind of shape anyone is in, soccer is tough.
The group I play with is a mixture of students younger than me, as well older dudes too. One of the kids asked me yesterday if I was playing again, and I told him I would most likely. I also said I hadn't played in a while so I may be a little rusty still. He assured me I wasn't that bad, for an American...

Tomorrow starts another weekend in Kenmare. Pretty soon I will be planning an Easter Holiday trip and I have been thinking London, among other things. All of Europe is so close it would be a waste to not take advantage of being so close to the variety of cultures around here.

I haven't been watching the Olympics too much...I usually like to although I am more of a Summer Olympic fan. But I switched it on and the only thing that I have watched like three nights this week is Cross-Country Skying. Really?! I got spoiled one of the first nights I turned it on because my boy Apolo Ohno was on and snuck away with a silver-I love short track-but since then it has been many things I have not been into. Oh well....maybe I can catch the end of Women's Figure Skating, if I'm lucky.

One more annoyance: as I sit here and get some work done and catch up on schoolwork, like normal I usually have the TV on although I do not always pay attention to it. But what is the deal with Lost? I know I have missed the last couple seasons but it just isn't the same anymore. You think I would learn the fact that I get excited and then let down every Thursday night but nope, I am just too hopeful and like clockwork, sit down with dinner right @ 9pm. Man I just realized I have been talking a lot about TV. Time to move on.

Despite my criticisms, life is good. A lot of exciting things to look forward to in 2010 and it only gets better everyday. If you are in or around Southeastern Connecticut tomorrow (2/26), please wish my beautiful Momma happy birthday. She popped all ten pounds of me out no sweat so she deserves it, love you! (Maybe a little sweat).

Have a good weekend,

P.S. Probably no more texts and calls to the States while I am away, unless it is an emergency or you are extremely good looking.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Hey all...this was just told to me...

"So I couldn't tell you this yesterday because I just found out but in your Humanities class with your Transitions Years last two classes today there will be a guest speaker. You are more than welcome to come in but you do not have to"-that last part had an added smile on Ms. Kelliher's face. I guess I will just have to go home early now, ohhhhhh well.

I actually am not too excited about this, so don't judge. My Humanities class is definitely my most fun and interesting class; however, it is my most unpredictable. Transition Year students do a lot of different projects for the school and are very often, out of class last minute. I only meet with them once a week but they are working on an exciting project for me at the moment so I am sure they can use more time. I guess this is okay.

So today we finally got some rain after pretty much two weeks straight of sunshine...I almost thought this wasn't Ireland.

I have been annoying some of my friends here with my uncanny ability to relate everything in life to one of a few things, mainly a scene from a Scrubs episode (however this might also include Friend's, The Office, Arrested Development and Dane Cook references). I take pride in my strong Scrubs knowledge acquired during hundreds of hours of repeats of episodes. So it was only necessary to buy Scrub's Music, Vol. 2 yesterday. This is a must have, Scrubs has great music and this CD rocks. Ok I am done with that, let me know if you want a copy.

I need to mail out some goodies and get some work done today and tomorrow. However, the first two seasons of Prison Break do not help this. I am almost done watching the first season (again). You know when you watch a show over that you saw years ago? It's great because you enjoy it again but do not remember everything at the same time so part of it is a's the best.

Anyway, lots to do and I am motivated. I kind of feel I bounced around a lot during this post and I apologize, just been thinking about a lot too. The more I think about my inattention to just one topic of focus further solidifies my self-diagnosis that I am ADHD. I am sort of kidding and sort of not.

Thanks for bearing with me on this one, cheers.


Saturday, February 20, 2010


Hey as you probably know, we had this week off from school for a break and I took advantage of the time by doing some traveling around Ireland. Courtney came to visit Friday and Kathryn joined us for a little road trip.

After picking Courtney up Friday, we spent the weekend in Kenmare but traveled the Ring of Kerry on Saturday. For a few hours, we did a big loop around the coast of County Kerry. County Kerry is a beautiful drive and like the rest of the week, the weather was pretty much outstanding for it. Pictures will be soon to follow on facebook.

Sunday we left early afternoon for Dingle, a couple hours up the west coast. We arrived just before sunset and a few kilometers before reaching Dingle, we saw our first real beach. Although in some cool weather, the sun was enough for people to be out on the beach playing with their dogs or just walking near the water. Dingle itself, was just a few minutes up the road. Right on the water, Dingle is a very popular tourist destination in the summer but the rest of the year is a small port town marked with fishing boats and Fungie the Dolphin (who we did not see). Fungie is a dolphin that does not migrate to warmer waters during the winter and the town has marketed Fungie to be its sort of local mascot. Anyway, that night in Dingle we listened to some traditional Irish music at the Marina Inn. Got a nice dinner, and then went back and grabbed a few more pints. A couple local dogs, Rex and his little pup whose name I forgot at the moment, hung out with us and the locals in the pub. Dogs here I noticed, are rarely leashed and kind of wander on their own. These two were the greatest. We stayed at a hostel that night which like most of the week, worked out to be relatively cheap and comfortable sleeping arrangements. Out of the four nights we stayed out in Ireland, we spent less than 70 Euro a piece for lodging. The next day we walked around for a little bit, got the 'best' milkshake from this place for lunch (as we were all craving them) and headed out for the day.

Monday around noon, we left for Galway. Further up the west coast, Galway like most of Ireland's major cities, is somewhat on the water. I have heard good things about Galway from many and after a few laps around the city, we parked and found a hostel right in the the city centre near Eyre Square. The Galway City Hostel we stayed at for two nights, was probably the greatest place we stayed at. The people there were cool, there was a common room with people from all places, and the best part, bunk beds! I slept on the top bunk, of course, and our first night in we hung out in the community area and played cards. After a long weekend we needed a chill night however, we got up early the next day, toured the city for a while and started the day off with a crepe ( Galway has a lot of walking streets with shops and well, food and more shops. After a day of shopping we went back to the hostel before going out for the night. Our Americaness tuned in because I had a craving for Papa John's Pizza, so it was good to have a delicious American pizza pie. That night we went to the pub underneath our hostel (yes literally underneath), and hit up a club later. It was a Tuesday night so many were out, but it wasn't a crazy night. However, we got back to the hostel and prepared to get up early and grab another crepe before leaving.

Wednesday was Cliffs of Moher day. Out of any other place of interest in Ireland, you ask any Irish person what you should see and almost always the Cliffs of Moher is mentioned first. The Cliffs are on the west coast of County Clare and are hundreds of feet high. No picture can really do them justice, however at the same time, only pictures can explain the site. It was a little windy, but a sunny day led for a couple hour drive to the coast and then back. After getting a little lost, we drove through Ennis and then Limerick on our quest for one meal of delicious Fish & Chips. We got that after doing a few loops in Limerick. After getting our fish we sort of last minute, found a B&B owned by this really nice lady and got a deal to stay the night. We didn't have much time to check out Limerick but had driven through there on the way up, so it was a little familiar.

Thursday morning we dropped Courtney off at Shannon Airport which is just a few minutes past Limerick. Then it was a direct shot to Cork for a little shopping but also yes, to get my laptop back. Finally the day has come. It isn't good as new, but it should get me by until I am back in the states. For instance, it doesn't run on battery power. The lady that worked on it was very cool and only wanted to replace what she absolutely had to. Soooo it's working right now and I have internet at the place, so skype and facebook chatting will be more frequent, I hope.

After driving home from Cork to Kenmare, we drove up to Killarney yesterday to drop the car off and Kathryn accompanied me. We took the bus back which pretty much leads to where I am at right now. It was a good week off but this weekend I am getting focused and getting ready to get back into the swing of things. Lots of work, laundry, and cleaning to do. I am sure there is more to say but this blog is taking me forever to write so I am done for now. The week off was good, but it's back to school soon...


Thursday, February 11, 2010


Hey all...this week and upcoming weekend starts a little time where I will actually be able to tour some parts of Ireland. Monday night I was able to get a ride back down to Cork again (sort of last minute) to spend the day and night there Tuesday all day. Tuesday was a parent-teacher day at school and I really did not have to be there so I got a ride with Vince to Cork. Vince teaches in Kenmare everyday but Tuesday so it worked out with the rides and sleeping accomodations. Tuesday I was finally able to get my laptop to the only place that can officially work and fix Macs. That did not take long to drop it off and I spent the rest of the day biking and exploring Cork. Wednesday morning we drove back as it was back to school...because I am not a fool...

The issues with the computer are as follows. After bringing it to two people and a couple phone calls, repairs could end up being costly enough where I may have to just get a new one. Today I found out that a couple parts are needed to have the Mac charge itself as that was not happening, but they also got the main board working. After a few hundred Euro, I should have the machine sometime this weekend or next week I hope. However, it is possible the board will not last forever or even for that long which will result in hundreds more needed to be spent. I think I will have an operating laptop within a few days. Moral of the story, Macs are very sensitive so pleeeease buy your's some flowers and the warmest, most water-proof case you can find.

The last few days have been gorgeous with sun although a little cold. I think I may attempt soccer tonight for the first time in a while which could be dangerous.......for whoever gets in my way! Heyyyooo...that combined with a Friday of fun classes I am planning for will lead right into a good week off from school.

Last night Kathryn and I roughly planned our trip next week. Tomorrow Courtney comes into Ireland and after picking her up with a car I am about to rent, we'll be spending a couple nights in Kenmare then touring the western part of Ireland....Kenmare, Killarney, Dingle, Galway and possibly back down to Cork before returning the car on Friday. Hopefully lots of pictures and stories for that trip will follow. I will update the next week or so as much as I can.

Time to go book the car and get incredibly sore. Miss you. War eagle!

MG (From Ireland)

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Hey all...this weekend was pretty much a typical weekend in Kenmare. Relax during the day, pubs at night with good Irish/American friends and good music. Saturday morning I went with Lisa and her daughter Siobhan to Cork, which was about an hour and a half drive there. The day was gorgeous. Cork is mainly a small city of shopping and food-good combo. Siobhan showed me around and although it was a little quiet at first, Saturday was a great day to see people of all ages walk through the streets of Cork.

Like I said, good shopping and every kind of store you can imagine. There is this one place called English Market which has booths of every different type of food you could imagine; sandwich booths, chicken booths, vegetable and fruit booths, seafood, pastries, etc. For instance, the Chicken booth had every cut of chicken breasts, wings, or patties that you can buy uncooked that might offer a fresher selection that a store. It was like a little market (hence the name) and if I was living in Cork, I would probably find a way to go and get some things for dinner everyday. Cork is definitely a town of smells and this place was amazing. Me being hungry did not help either.

After a couple hours of strolling around, we got some sandwiches to go (take away) from one of the booths in the market and drove back home where I took a longer nap then anticipated. This week coming up will be not too bad before we get a week off from school. Friday Courtney Cushing is flying in and some exploring around Ireland is the plan.

It doesn't look like good news for my laptop...but I am optimistic. So yet another week with limited internet time and no skype. I am working on it, trust me. Time to go the gym and then get ready for the Superbowl....except it starts like after midnight here. We will see if I make it for that one.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

February Showers

School this week was not too bad as I finally got to get in front of most of my classes and run the show as well as get to know the kids. Most of my classes are with first years who although a little talkative, are really an entertaining and intelligent group. I have the luxury of teaching about Haiti, the Renaissance, the Sea and Maps which gives me a variety. However, it gives me a lot of material I have to read about to keep ahead of the students.

The past few nights I have gotten to explore the town a little, but nothing too exciting. Tonight I may play soccer but it is the first rainy day of the week so that might cancel it. However, I meet more and more people everyday which really has been a great experience. This weekend may involve a trip to Cork on Saturday (hopefully laptop in hand) but will most likely result with just a relaxing weekend in Kenmare.

That is all for now really. Wednesday and Thursday are my easier days but tomorrow will be a full schedule before the weekend. Looking forward to are you?


Monday, February 1, 2010

Dublin Weekend

Hey all...this weekend I made it up to Dublin, late Friday night. Kathryn and I took a train from Killarney to Dublin and got there around 9:30. By the time we got to the Kathryn's friend's house it was enough time to stop at Eddie Rockets and grab a pint at the local pub. Yes, Eddie Rockets is the Irish clone of Johnny Rockets and is pretty much the same from the logo to the food; just Eddie is the Rocketman in this case. Stephen and Kim (whom we stayed with) were very nice and accommodating and had two setter/golden retriever puppy mixes who were fun to play with of course..

Saturday was our day to tour Dublin and although a little cooler, was a nice day with sun all weekend. We got into the city center midday and pretty much hung around Grafton St. which had a lot going on for a saturday. Musicians, mimes and other beings lined the streets. Of course as soon as I got off the Luas (tram), I immediately found the nearest H&M but refrained from buying everything until my next trip; I know, I was impressed too. In the nearby shopping centre, going to the toilet cost 20 cents. Other things that amazed me about the mall area were the similarities but not exactly the same stores and restaurants like Eddie Rockets. For instance, Tk Maxx as well as Supermacs were very close connections to the American ones. However, pictures (I know they are coming!), will show you the subtle differences that make me laugh. There were plenty of McDonald's and Burger Kings in Dublin as well.

Bonnie and Megan from Auburn were traveling Europe this past week and we met up Saturday and hit up the Guinness Storehouse later on. The museum-like building was 7 floors that ascended into the final floor known as the Gravity Bar. Up there you get your ticket for your free pint and can see most of Dublin. With the sun setting the sight was amazing. The displays and going through the process of the Guinness creation was interesting as well....the Irish certainly take their Guinness seriously.

Later on that night after dinner, i met some more Irish folks that came over to the house we were staying and hung around until going to Club 92 later on that night. I was a little rusty, but I managed to dance the night away until the wee hours of the morning. Definitely was a busy and great saturday.

Sunday Kathryn and I made it to the O2 concert hall where we saw 'We Will Rock You.' The three-hour musical is based on Queen's music and the music itself was amazing. The story line was a little out there but I think in a way, it just proved how unique, creative and absolutely insane Queen's music really is. Also, I think the show in a way, embraced and made fun of it while continuing to reference pop and rock stars and songs of old and new. One of the male 'Bohemians' was named Britney Spears (just to give an example). I had heard on Sunday that Brian May (original member of Queen) would be playing...he came out during the finale, and played the guitar solo to Bohemian Rhapsody while the rest of the members sang and danced. It was truly amazing. I wish Freddie was still around. Queen has always been my favorite and after that, always will be.

After some dinner and a late train getting us back into Kenmare around 11:30, it was a goodnight sleep to conclude the weekend. Today I officially started with my two geography classes along with a few others beginning this week, will be a fun week. I also managed to get asked if a) I had a girlfriend and 2), could a few girls be my girlfriend. I was flattered....but did I mention they were first years (13-14 years old)? Haha ummm....but all the kids are sweet and funny so it made it a good Monday.

Irish Translations:

'Lift'-Ride (in a car)
'Petrol'-Gas(for a car)
'Half 7'-7:30(time)
More to come...

Just ate, so I am full enough to go grocery shopping. Cheers and have a good week.