Defined by stories

By Camille Douglas

5/24/16

Our last day in Dublin had finally come. It feels just like yesterday that we hopped off of the Shamrocker bus. Time has sure flown by, and it sort of scares me that we are coming to the half way mark of this journey as I don’t want this all to end. I am having the best time in my life so far.
We started the day with a tour of Trinity College to see what life at the college was like. It was interesting to hear about the different structure to the college. For example, the graduation lineup is based on how well you do on your exams, with the best and the brightest being the first to receive their diploma. Like everything else in Dublin, the old, beautiful campus was full of stories. Our tour guide told us about how a professor was killed by students after a shooting war between them started.

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One of the lecture halls at Trinity College. 

For the afternoon, Reagan, Allison, and I parted from the group headed back to the hostel and went off to see if we can tour Kilmainham Gaol jail. Unfortunately, all the tours were completely sold out, so we settled for the next best, thing… touring the museum. I enjoyed being able to picture what they jail cells looked like, being disgusted about the different execution techniques that they used, learning about the controversy behind the jail and seeing how the proclamation in 1916 reshaped things. Ending our day at the jail and heading back to the hostel via the Dublin tour bus was a perfect way to say goodbye to the city.

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The courtyard of Kilmainham Gaol. This is where public hangings/ executions were performed. 

One thing that stood out to me as we have been exploring Dublin was the amount of street performers and art we see. I come from Rochester Hills, a decent-sized city, but not as big as a city like Dublin. I don’t really visit big cities often. Even though Detroit may be about 25 minutes away from I live, visiting it is still a rare occasion and I am not really used to seeing street performers down every street I walk on. Each day in Dublin, there was always a new performer or art to be seen. The first day out, I watched a man perform tricks with a soccer ball, listened to another playing a sweet melody on a wooden flute, and heard a women sing along with an unknown pop song into a mic. Just today, there was an older gentlemen painting a beautiful mural on the sidewalk. A strangely dressed in a black bear suit, holding a Dalmatian stuffed animal, sat in to the edge of a sidewalk, pretending to me a statue. In my opinion, I consider the art these city people create as a unique type of media. Though it’s really up to your interpretation what they are saying in their art, they are storytellers. If there is one thing I learned on this trip so far, it would be that stories exist in all kinds of forms. Ireland and Northern Ireland are very old countries, with so much history, and stories exist everywhere, having been preserved and passed down by generations.

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A street artist painting a mural in the middle of the sidewalk.

As we head over to Wales, England and Scotland, I will be looking out for more different kinds of storytellers. I am excited to see just how much more I learn about the culture and history of the different countries.

Another street artist performing a song using a wooden flute.

 

 

 

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