One of Those Refreshing Weeks

Learning and Re-learning (18/2/14)

For a lab practical today, we had to draw graphs by hand. SERIOUSLY?! Graphs by hand. Our professor’s excuse was “because Irish people can’t”. But then again…I do remember that my Irish TA (Teaching Assistant) for last semester’s statistics class graphed a dependent variable on the x-axis. Completely crazy.

Anyhow, I had trampoline later in the day. I’m officially a trampoliner!! I’ve been learning how to do a front drop, for what seems like forever. I think I’m mastering it ever so slowly. I also learned that at UCD, alumni can participate in student groups and compete with them if they wanted to, as alumni are still considered “part of the family”. Thus, I met a “coach” who is an alumni and participates in trampolining, going to competitions and practices like the rest of us.

A curve! Haha! Get it? Just kidding. A tunnel from the Newman building to who knows where.

Friends are Life’s Spice (19/2/14)

Grade curves, it’s an American thing. So, I know back home at my university – and many other universities around my area – professors often “curve” your grade. In Ireland, that’s not a thing (at least not as far as I know). I’ve been briefed on the normal curve and all that and the “concept” of “curving” and all that jazz. However, I never really understood it. Today in stats class, all that was changed. My professor taught me how “curves” work and how they can be calculated mathematically. What was once “mysterious magic” is now just…math – the normal distribution formula/function to be specific.

Random side note: BEST Valentine’s gift EVER. Yes, it was late and all, but I got a Valentine’s day package of yummy Asian snacks – all Japanese oddly enough – from my girl friend who’s my “(pseudo)boyfriend”.

My disgustingly lovely package from my girl friend.

After my disgustingly delicious package, I went to Zumba with the AWESOME Spanish Zumba instructor I’ve been taking it with for our workout program. I found two of my random international friends there as well. It was PRETTY nice having one of them up front next to me in class. We really enjoyed it together. Working out is A LOT more fun when you have a friend – or more – who’s into it as much as you and loves it just as much.

Then, I had the pleasure of introducing my Brazilian girl friend to swing dancing. It was a PRETTY intense beginner’s class. Not only did we work on basic steps, but also turns and semi-intermediate moves (I’d consider them such). It was pretty fun. I’m glad she enjoyed herself, even though she couldn’t keep up with the speed of the lesson – I don’t really expect anyone to, it was WAAAAY too much in one class session.

Morning Walks are a Must (20/2/14)

I woke up early this morning – now 8am is officially early for me – because I had to run to the gym. Not run AT the gym, run TO the gym. Why? I forgot my 3D printed “mistake” ring at the gym. I had cut the ring off from a test piece for a flute that didn’t go so well. I was pretty lucky that it fit on my finger, so I’d been wearing it as a ring. I totally forgot it at the gym on a hanger in a locker. I was SO glad that it – and my other less significant/sentimental ring – was still there. Then, I decided: I should get up early and go take a walk EVERY DAY (probably not going to happen because….c’mon, Irish weather).

On the down side, I had trampoline practice today, I still haven’t mastered the front drop and it’s the last practice session before competition day. I’M DOOOOOOOOMED!

The interior of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

An Exploration Day (21/2/14)

I was walking back home and I saw my first FULL-VIEW rainbow. AWESOME! Had to share.

Anyways, today was a pretty chill day. I got to spend some time with some fellow tramp(oline) novices I met at practice. We decided to take a trip to city centre and just walk around and walk around. The two of us Americans went into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It was pretty gosh darn gorgeous inside with the stained glass windows – love them. However, I do have to say, 35 minutes to walk around the place to talk about monuments and history is not a preferably thing for me. It was quite a site to just go in and see though.

Afterwards, we decided to eat a little something at The Hairy Lemon, because the other American INSISTED it was the BEST BURGER ever. I refused to order it since it was slightly cheaper to get just get my favorite: seafood chowder, though it’s different everywhere I go. I WILL have to go back for the Ferrero Rocher cheesecake and/or the Guinness chocolate mousse though.

One of my favorite tramopliners from our team during the competition.

My First Competition (22/2/14)

First trampoline competition, UCD versus Trinity College (our rival school). Yay! The novices got to go first. I was the only one who couldn’t compete my routine BOTH times I went. I missed the last move of my 10. Either way, it was quite interesting watching the other levels compete. The levels go like this: novice, intermediate, intervanced, advanced, and Elite. Then, there were the synchronized routines which were spectacular to watch – when they went well.

Our club at a small bake sale to fundraise for our Relay for Life team throughout the event. The most interesting thing was trying flapjacks. I saw them and had to ask what they were. She said “flapjacks”. I was immediately confused since, in American terms, that usually refers to pancakes/hot cakes. They were actually more like sugarly granola bars – really good. It was a pretty successful fundraiser with a lot of alternative baked goods such as eggless chocolate chip cookies and gluten free brownies it was PRETTY awesome.

After the competition, I went home and made some “simple”, made up fish chowder soup I came up with. It was actually pretty good.

The best part: I found out later on – as I couldn’t make it to the awards ceremony – I got bronze for ladies novice. YAY!

Daffodils (and Shepard’s purses)! YAY!

Dip Addiction (23/2/14)

Boring part of today: I went shopping for food.

Exciting part of today: I saw daffodils! I love daffodils.

Oh! and I had some onion and garlic dip with tortilla chips; I’m addicted. It’s SOOO much better than having JUST sour cream or – yes, I’m not very American for saying this – JUST ranch dressing. It’s a good balance in between. Then, I realized that I should learn how to make some healthy dip alternatives like herbed yogurt dip or onion yogurt dip. Mmmmm, yum.

Things I Learned “today”

  • Rag trees are trees tied with rags on their branches. It is thought that your worries, such as an illness or a bad fortune, will go away as the rag decays on the tree.
  • straw boys, biddy boys, wren boys, mummers.
  • Corn silk can be a variety of colors (i.e. yellow or red), depending on the variety of corn that is grown.
  • Irish grade school students start school at 9am at earliest.
  • Irish students do NOT all learn Latin in grade school – if at all – just Gaelic Irish.
  • The Rhythms of Life

Words/Phrases of the Day

  • Conker = chestnut
  • Give a handy = take it easy
  • Ragging on people= giving people a hard time

More Pictures of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

The outside.

One of the stained glass windows. LOOK AT THE DETAILS!

More Pictures from Trampolining

Trampolining ladies!

And the men!

My bronze medal! YAY!

More…Miscellaneous Pictures

My fish chowder – because I’m proud of my food-making skills.

My first full-view rainbow!

That delicious seafood chowder from the Hairy Lemon.


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