The Last Frontier

There’s a rumble in the distance. It’s the giant boom of moving glacial ice as it breaks away from the edge of a cliff and disappears into the deep blue of the ocean. At that moment, a 40-foot-long Mienke whale surfaces next to the small, inflatable Zodiac boat. Gasping in awe, there’s just enough time to snap a picture of the creature as it swims beneath the boat, close enough to touch.
On MSU’s study abroad trip to Antarctica, this dreamlike scene is a reality.
[glacier] For the past two winter breaks, MSU’s College of Natural Resources and College of Natural Science has hosted a study abroad trip to Antarctica, entitled “Studies in Antarctic System Science,” allowing participants a truly unique opportunity to visit and study the world’s uninhabitable and southernmost continent.
The program premiered in December 2003, and began with a 19-hour flight from Detroit to Miami to Buenos Aires and finally to Ushuaia, Argentina. The next few days were spent in the city of Ushuaia listening to lectures, visiting museums and taking quizzes over the 300 pages of reading assigned to them before the trip, explained John Hesse, who works in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and was the lead faculty member of the 2003 trip.
After their orientation in Ushuaia, the students boarded the M/V Lyubov Orlova, the ice-strengthened ship the students would call home. They slept in small, two-person cabins with attached bathrooms and leaky portholes, environmental studies and applications junior Jaclyn VanOverbeke said – and she loved it. “It was certainly not the best-looking cruise ship, but I thought that it was great.” The students also shared the M/V Lyubov Orlova with an international expedition staff and Russian crew, making that 86 passengers total.
Life aboard ship was different from what some students were used to. VanOverbeke said showering on the ship was a unique experience. “[In the bathroom] there was no separate tub to step into to take a shower,” VanOverbeke said. “You just stood on the floor and sort of took your shower and the water would get everywhere.”
[quote] The voyage to Antarctica took two days and included a trip down Drake Passage, some of the “roughest waters in the world,” Hesse said. The rolling waves caused many students to fall victim to seasickness. “I didn’t feel great while in the Drake Passage, but I was never too sick to move like some of the others were,” VanOverbeke said. Motion sickness pills became a saving grace for a lot of people, she added.
After two days nausea subsided and the boat reached its destination. It was summer in Antarctica and the temperature averaged between 30 and 50 degrees, Hesse said. “It was warmer in Antarctica than it was on campus.”
Students were required to pick a topic to study and later present their research on their chosen field. “My individual project was the Antarctic Treaty system, or the type of governing body that they have to manage their resources there,” VanOverbeke said. According to VanOverbeke, the Antarctic Treaty is the only treaty to exclude any military or oil-drilling activities. “The only other international treaty to have these components is the Space Treaty.”
Other students chose topics dealing with science systems or wildlife, Hesse said. The students were also required to keep a journal and make daily entries about their adventures.
Trips from the ship to land were made on inflatable, 11-person Zodiac boats, allowing for some close encounters with whales and other wildlife. Hesse described one of his most memorable days of the trip as the one he shared with thousands of penguins. On this day, they landed the Zodiac in a place that hadn’t been explored in years and the number of penguins in the area was astounding. “There were half a million penguins in one spot,” he remembered. Hesse said humans were supposed to stay at least 15 feet away from wildlife at all times, but with such a multitude of penguins present, it was almost impossible for students to keep their distance.
[ship3] VanOverbeke vividly remembers the smell of penguin guano (excrement) and how it was something she got used to during the trip. “I remember coming back home and unpacking my boots and smelling the guano on them and I wanted to bottle the smell because it is certainly something that I will not be able to smell again, except in zoos, but I don’t think that it will be the same.”
One smell VanOverbeke won’t miss was of 8,000-pound elephant seals. “One of the most vivid memories that I have is of the elephant seals wallowing in mud and molting,” she said. “Not only were they wallowing, but they were burping and farting, too, and it smelled terrible!”
MSU is one of the only schools in the country that has a study abroad trip to Antarctica. At the time, the 2003 winter break trip was one of only two programs sending students there, Hesse said.
Hesse is passionate about understanding the Antarctic ecosystem. Global warming has taken a toll and its effects are noticeable in the area, he said. Everyday, he and the students would slather on sunscreen because the hole in the ozone layer over the continent lets in intense UV rays, making it very easy to get a sunburn.
He said the hole over the continent could have more devastating implications. If the Arctic ice melted, sea level would rise by 200 feet, submerging most of Florida and other areas around the globe.
“It’s a very fragile system,” Hesse said.
Hesse said students on the Antarctica trip were able to learn about these and other systems. “They become ambassadors of saving this continent from ruin.”
VanOverbeke said the trip helped her learn more about her own academic and professional interests. She said the experience of the trip was “totally worth it.” It catered to her interest in cold-weather climates and helped influence her career path.
“I think that having such a unique study abroad opportunity really shows how important it is to the university to have all kinds of diversity in academics,” she said. It helps students realize the opportunity that they have available to them and how diverse the ‘real world’ really is.”
Would VanOverbeke go back to Antarctica? “I would go back in a heartbeat! Just give me the word, and the money, and I would be gone!”

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Eight Days in ’89

It was Tuesday, May 16, 1989. More than 100 students were sprawled out on the floor. They had been protesting for eight days and most hadn’t left the building during that time. These students were determined to have the school meet their demands.
Days earlier, on May 9, black student leaders and racial ethnic student aids from the Office of Black Affairs walked into the first floor of the Administration Building to protest the university’s passive treatment of blacks and minorities on campus. They remained there in a protest that many now call the ’89 Black Student Study-in.
The protest started after months of tension between MSU administration and racial ethnic minorities on campus. The protestors wanted more support from the university. Their demands included more students of color on Residence Life staff, hiring of more racial ethnic minorities to MSU’s faculty and expansion of racial ethnic programs including ethnic studies programs.
[black9] “Back then, there were certain offices for black students but there was a lack of voice,” Maggie Chen Hernandez said. “Some issues weren’t addressed.” Hernandez is the acting director of the Office of Racial Ethnic Student Affairs at MSU and had recently started working for the university when the ’89 study-in began. Some minority students found it difficult to live in the residence halls and felt no one at MSU was listening to their concerns, Hernandez said.
Sixteen years later, that protest will be commemorated in an event hosted by MSU’s Black Student Alliance. BSA will host “Reawakening a Black Activist Tradition: A Retrospect of the ’89 Study-in” on Sunday, Feb. 20 and Monday, Feb. 21 in the MSU Union gold rooms. The BSA worked with alumni to plan the commemoration, Tammy Coles, coordinator of African-American student affairs at MSU, said.
There will be a leadership conference and dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, and Monday’s event will be a panel discussion about the protest at 7 p.m., Geneva Thomas, BSA president, said. About four people who participated in the study-in will be there to “talk about their motivation and tactics.” A documentary of the protest will also be shown.
“We will also discuss what we can do today for better treatment for black students,” Thomas said.
Thomas anticipates student involvement at the event, but also expects many other members of the MSU community to attend. “This should be a university and community-wide event,” Thomas said. “[The protest] affected the students, faculty and staff at MSU. Several faculty and staff were hired because of it.”
Hernandez said the original study-in was a “really heated and tense time.” Some students were unprepared for the protest to last as long as it did. “Their intention wasn’t to camp out. The intention was to make a statement,” Hernandez said.
During the study-in, friends of the demonstrators brought them homework and staff members of the Office of Black Affairs and other faculty brought meals, Hernandez said. But other than the coming and going of people familiar to the demonstrators, the first floor of the administration building was pretty much shut down, she said. “There were about 80 to 100 or more students in there at one point,” Hernandez said.
After eight days of protest and deliberation, MSU’s president at the time, John DiBiaggio, and administration agreed to 36 specific demands put forth by the demonstrators. Demands incorporated in the agreement included: more scholarships for black students, the appointment of a minority advisor to the provost, improvements to the Office of Minority Affairs and university-wide observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
The impact the study-in had on the MSU community is one reason to commemorate it, Hernandez said. She added that many black students and other students of color don’t know it happened, but they benefit from the outcome now.
“It was so exiting because students were empowered,” Hernandez said. “It was a wonderful example of courageous activism at its best.”
Attending Black History Month events, such as the ’89 study-in retrospective on Feb. 20 and 21, is an important way to remember our progress with racism on campus and aim our sights on one day eliminating it. Take some time to commemorate yesterday’s activists by getting active today.

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Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers

The dinning room was elegantly decorated. Delicate white flowers stood in the vases that were centered on each of the black tableclothes. Jazz music played while people chose their seats before helping themselves to the elaborate buffet staffed by chefs donning white coats and aprons and the traditional tall chef’s hat. Looking around, it was hard to believe that this room was the Akers Hall cafeteria.
On Monday, January 17th, the Second Annual MLK, Jr. Celebratory Community Dinner was held in Akers Hall and was one of this year’s many events focused on honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy. The theme for the dinner was “Celebrating a Global Community” and was complemented by a short program in which representatives from a diverse variety of groups from the MSU community spoke to those who attended the dinner.
[bread]Vincent Butler, a student and member of the Black Poets Society, read aloud a poem he wrote for the evening. The Hillel Jewish Student Center was represented by David Dworin who spoke about the role that civil rights plays in everyone’s lives and the importance of celebrating “the diversity that enriches us all.” The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Faculty, Staff and Graduate Student Association (GLFSA); the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1585 union and the King/Chavez/Parks College Day Program, a program designed to increase the number of under represented minority students in post-secondary education, also had speakers participate in the program.
[mlk] D. Venice Smith, a consultant for multicultural issues at MSU, organized the dinner. Although slow moving because of a cast on her ankle, she was energetic and spoke excitedly about the event, greeting familiar faces as they arrived for dinner. Like the evening’s theme, “Celebrating a Global Community”, Smith said the purpose of the dinner was to celebrate the global community that is here at MSU. The event is an opportunity for different groups that represent the three different parts of MSU’s community- faculty, staff and students- to come together.
Paulette Granberry Russell, director of Affirmative Action Compliance and Monitoring and senior advisor to the President for Diversity at MSU, spoke about the symbolic importance of the meal.
“Breaking bread together tends to break down a lot of different barriers,” she said looking out on her audience, most of whom were enjoying the garlic chicken, prime rib or one of the gourmet desserts available that evening.
The meal was planned by MSU’s Housing and Food services but the food served did not have any special significance in regards to the “global community” theme, Smith said. However, out of the 409 people registered to attend the dinner, no one seemed to complain about the fresh fruit and vegetable hors d’oeuvres or the chocolate mud pie dessert. Food has the power to bring people of many backgrounds together, and Sunday night was a prime example of unifying while dining.
[mlk1] The Annual MLK, Jr. Celebratory Dinner premiered last year in response to a lack of MLK events that MSU faculty and staff were able to attend. Although classes for students are canceled on MLK, Jr. day, MSU employees still work. The dinner was scheduled at a time when faculty and staff, as well as students, were able to attend. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon attended and gave opening remarks for the program of speakers calling the dinner an “opportunity for all of us [at MSU] to come together…and celebrate a compassion for inclusion and social justice.”
Nathaniel Lake, Director of Operations for the MSU women’s basketball team, registered to attend the dinner after seeing a flyer promoting it. He said that his involvement in athletics often keeps him from going to events.
“I don’t get a chance to do a lot of things on campus, and I’d like to change that,” Lake said. “This seemed like a good, diverse event that I was able to attend.”
[mlk2] Following the dinner, which ended around 6:15 pm, many people participated in a commemorative march to the Wharton Center where they met more marchers who had begun their march at Beaumont Tower. At the Wharton Center the MSU Theatre Department presented a special preview of Blues for Mr. Charlie in honor of Dr. King.
This year is the 25th year that MSU has celebrated and honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through campus wide activities and events. The Annual MLK, Jr. Celebratory Community Dinner is only in its second year of existence. However, with its ability to bring faculty, staff and students together through good food and celebration of a positive message, it is sure to become a lasting tradition that will allow people on MSU’s diverse campus to celebrate their global community for many years to come.

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Global Treats

Look out Martha Stewart. Move over Nigella. This holiday season, forget your inhibitions in the kitchen, and show these two that they’re not the only ones who can create a mean holiday meal. Throw away the leftover pizza, don’t even think about Easy Mac, and impress your family, friends, (and yourself) by whipping up some of these international holiday recipes.
Given the chance, many people might give in to their sweet tooth and eat dessert first. If this sounds like you’re style, why not make the first course of your holiday feast a Japanese Christmas Cake? A Japanese Christmas Cake is basically a sponge-like cake that is frosted with white frosting and strawberries. More strawberries and other fresh fruit may also be used for added decoration.
Sayako Fujii is a freshman and an international student from Japan. Although she isn’t Christian, she said that she has always celebrated Christmas.
“I think most people [in Japan], especially young people, celebrate Christmas,” she said. “Most of them are not Christian, so they tend to have a Christmas party just for fun”.
Some Japanese choose to bake their own Christmas cake, but they are also available at bakeries and supermarkets. Fujii said that she and her mom make Christmas cake every year.
Japanese Christmas Cake
For sponge cake:
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp butter
For whipping cream:
2 cups heavy cream
4 tbsps sugar
16 whole strawberries divided
Cake: Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Put eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk them together. Place the bowl inside another large bowl with hot water and whisk again until the egg mixture turns white. Combine the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl the add it to the egg bowl. Add melted butter into the bowl and mix. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 min. Remove the cake from the pan and cool it on a rack. When cool, cut the cake in half horizontally.
Frosting: Whip heavy cream and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer. Slice 8 strawberries into thin pieces. Take the half of the whipped cream and mix with the sliced strawberries. Place the cream on top of a round cake slice. Place another cake slice on top of the cream. Spread the rest of the whipped cream on top and around the cake. Decorate the cake with more strawberries.
After enjoying your Christmas cake, why not wash it down with some punch? Stay hydrated during this holiday season by making some Ponche Navideño, the thick Christmas punch from Mexico. Ponche Navideño is a warm punch and is traditionally served during the celebration of Las Posadas, a simulation of the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph in which families visit neighbor’s houses asking for posadas (shelter). The adults drink Ponche Navideño at the end of the “journey.”
Ponche Navideño
ß 12 quarts water
ß 10 oz tejocotes (dried apricots)
ß 6 oz walnuts
ß 5 oranges juiced
ß 8 guavas
ß 4 sugar canes
ß 10 oz prunes
ß 3 sticks cinnamon
ß 2 lb. sugar
ß 1 quart brandy
Wash the fruit. Cut the sugar cane into strips. Cut the guavas. Add everything except the sugar to a pot and boil. When the mixture is cooked, add the sugar and brandy and stir.
For those who light the menorah around this time of year (or for those who would like to eat it), latkes are a classic. Latkes are a traditional Jewish food similar to potato pancakes. The oil that latkes are fried in represents the oil that kept the lamp burning in an ancient Jewish temple’s eternal lamp for eight days, when there was only enough left after a war for the light to burn for one day. The eternal lamp signifies the continuous presence of Judaism through the ages and the constant presence of God on Earth. When the light burned for eight days, it was considered a miracle and is now the basis for Hanukkah. For a little twist on the traditional holiday food, try this recipe for Sweet Potato Latkes.
Sweet Potato Latkes
ß 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
ß 2 eggs, lightly beaten
ß 1 tablespoon brown sugar
ß 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
ß 2 teaspoons ground cloves
ß 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
ß 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
Wash, peel, and grate the sweet potatoes and squeeze out the liquid through a colander. Let the potatoes sit to release more liquid, and then squeeze them again. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, brown sugar, flour, cloves and cinnamon, and mix it all together. Heat the oil in a skillet to about 375 degrees, and spoon in tablespoons of the mixture to make medium sized patties. Brown the patties on one side, turn and brown lightly on the other. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Kwanza is a holiday celebrated over seven days from December 26 to January 1. According to the Official Kwanza Web site, Kwanza was created “to reaffirm the communitarian vision and values of African culture and to contribute to its restoration among African peoples in the Diaspora…” Beginning with African Americans, Kwanzaa is intended to expand to include the world’s African community. A traditional dish during Kwanza is Benne Cakes. The recipe for Benne Cakes comes from West Africa. Benne means sesame seed, which is eaten for good luck.
Benne Cakes
ß oil to grease a cookie sheet
ß 1 cup finely packed brown sugar
ß 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
ß 1 egg, beaten
ß 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
ß 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
ß 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
ß 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
ß 1/4 teaspoon salt
ß 1 cup toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Beat the brown sugar and butter together until creamy. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sesame seeds. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are browned.
Whether or not you celebrate a holiday this winter season, these recipes are easy to follow and good to eat. Happy cooking!

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Building a New Home

For many, the word refugee invokes thoughts and images of suffering people in far off nations. Many people don’t realize that refugees from all over the world come to Lansing to start a new life away from the persecution they faced in their homelands. After being relocated, these families still face many challenges such as adjusting to a new area and society. Thanks to organizations and volunteers in the greater Lansing area, these people and their families are able to relocate successfully and start new lives.
[refugee]The way that refugees are relocated to Lansing is a complicated process. Refugee Services/St. Vincent Home is a faction of Catholic Social Services in Lansing. This organization helps relocate most of the refugees that arrive in Lansing. Mary Flores is the resettlement director at Refugee Services. She explained that the resettlement process begins when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees locates and labels people as refugees and recommends them for resettlement. UNHCR then gives the names of the refugees and their families to the United States where the names are divided between 10 different volunteer agencies called Volags. Volags then distribute the names of the refugees to smaller agencies that work for them.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is one of the ten Volags and Refugee Services of Lansing works to resettle many of the refugees that USCCB receives.
Refugee Services may have anywhere from two weeks to two days notice of the pending arrival of a refugee or family, Flores said. During this time, the housing department of Refugee Services works to find a house or apartment in the community for the person or family to live. Then, a resource supervisor is in charge of furnishing the home with furniture and basic essentials for cooking and cleaning. When the refugees arrive, an interpreter picks them up at the airport and takes them to their new home.
Flores estimates that there are 13,000 refugees that have been resettled in Lansing. She said that currently half of the refugees coming to Lansing are from Cuba. Many other refugees in this area are from Liberia, Somalia, and some from Sudan. The city of Lansing has low cost housing and available entry level jobs and the Lansing community is very welcoming, Flores said. The combination of available jobs, low cost of living, and a friendly community is the main reason why the capital is one of the most popular relocation areas in Michigan.
However, a refugee’s struggles are far from over once they have been relocated. Barry Stein is a political science professor and an expert on refugees. He says that all refugees face challenges when they are relocated. “You’re moving [them] to a society where nothing is familiar”, Stein said. Relocating can be a big shock and it may take a lot of adjustment for the refugees to feel comfortable. In Lansing, volunteers in organizations like Refugee Services of Lansing help to make the transition a little easier.[boy]
Maggie Corser is an international relations sophomore who has been volunteering for Refugee Services for over a year. She was introduced to the volunteer program when she joined MSU’s amnesty international chapter which adopted a newly arrived refugee family, the Omari family. Makai Abdul-Kahlik Omari and her eight children, whose ages range from five to 19, are originally from Afghanistan but now live in Lansing. Each week, Maggie and at least two other volunteers visit the Omari’s home.
“The volunteers that Refugee Services provides are there to help the family feel adjusted”, Corser said. “We’re there to be their friends, introduce them to the US with little ‘field trips’ like going to the bank and shopping at Meijers”. Interaction with volunteers and visits to places in the local community helps to ease the relocation experience.
However, becoming familiar with their surroundings is not the only adjustment that refugee families must face. Often, conflicts arise within the family and between the family members. “Relocation is very difficult for adults, but the children will take to the culture almost immediately”, Stein said. This can lead to problems between the generations within a family concerning the values and traditions from their homeland versus the different customs of the new society. “The kids want to be free and American”, Professor Stein explained. This is something the adults are not used to and, in some cases, may not agree with.
A child’s speedy adjustment to a new culture can also be beneficial. Oftentimes, a “reversal of roles” takes place within a family. This happens when the parents begin to rely on the children’s quick adaptation to help ease the entire family’s transition to the area.
Young children are naturally quicker at learning and adapting to a new language. Working with the Omari family, Maggie observed that the English skills of the younger children surpass those of their older siblings and are at a much higher level than their mother’s. “The language is what helps [the kids] adjust to the culture the most”, Corser said.
As a result of their superior language skills, children may need to act as informal translators for their parents. With this responsibility, the children play a vital role in initiating their parents into the foreign cultures and helping the entire family adjust to the relocation.
Once they have arrived, the children of refugee families are enrolled in public schools. In order to help them succeed, one of the main focuses of volunteers is helping them improve their English. Even though children are faster at learning languages then their parents, becoming fluent may take a lot of time and practice. For this reason, the majority of the time that Maggie spends at the Omari’s house is spent huddled around the coffee table in the living room helping the children with their homework and working to improve their English.
Once a refugee reaches the age of 18 they are no longer eligible for government financial support and are expected to find a job and begin work. “The goal of refugee resettlement established by the US government is self sufficiency in six months”, said Flores. To help the refugees and their families reach this goal, Refugee Services has an employment department that has established strong relationships with employers in the community and works to place the working age refugees with jobs.
Flores commented on how great a task it is for the refugees to become self sufficient in such a relatively short amount of time. “It’s asking a lot of them, but they do it”, she said.
Refugees’ success in their new homes is a combination of their adjustment and hard work and also the work of organizations such as Refugee Services and its strong volunteer group. Flores said Refugee Services is always looking for volunteers and mentors.
“Spending time with the refugees can be invaluable experience,” she added. It is possible to mentor only two hours a week and there is no need to know another language.”

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Fish and Chips and
Family Ties

[dublin] When communications senior Jimmy Donnellon signed up to spend the summer of 2003 abroad in Dublin, Ireland he did much more than simply study the Irish Film and Literature that the program required. He traced his family’s roots back to the home where his great grandmother grew up, learned how to drive on European roads, and even gained a new appreciation for Irish cuisine and the ever-versatile potato.
“The coolest thing about visiting Ireland for me was the fact that I have relatives there,” he said.
Jimmy’s great-grandmother immigrated to America at the age of 15. While he was in Ireland, Donnellon met up with one of his Irish cousins, Sarah, who took him to see the house where their great-grandmother had lived before leaving her homeland. Taking Jimmy to see the house was a very emotional experience for Sarah. It meant a lot to her to have a family member from America come back to Ireland and show appreciation for the country and people that he came from.
Thanks to Sarah, Jimmy was able to experience a different aspect of Ireland than many of his study abroad peers. She took him on weekend trips and even let him drive a little, an experience many travelers avoid because the Irish drive on the left side of the road.
“The only thing weird about it is shifting with your left hand,” he claimed.
One of their weekend trips was to a sports complex where Jimmy was able to meet a lot of other Irish people his age. There, they taught Jimmy the art of “hurling,” a game that he said is similar to field hockey except the goals have uprights that can also be scored in. After mastering hurling, as he claims to have done, Jimmy took time to teach a few of the Irish students one of his favorite pastimes, Ultimate Frisbee.

Jimmy’s academic portion of the summer was centered at Trinity College in the heart of Dublin. On his particular program, a typical day of classes involved watching Irish movies in the morning, listening to lectures on poetry in the afternoon, and attending stage productions in the evenings.
“We would get up in the mornings and walk to an Irish film center in downtown Dublin,” he remembers. “The films and books usually ended sad, but they would also mix humor in with it. You could be crying and laughing at the same time,” he added.
Another memorable discovery that Jimmy made in Ireland was his love of “chips,” the UK version of the french fry. “I ate a lot of fish and chips,” he said. “I just loved chips with vinegar.”
“The service in Ireland was amazing,” Jimmy added, remembering one of his favorite restaurants, The Couch Potato. As one would assume from its name, this restaurant served mainly stuffed potatoes and offered just about every potato topping imaginable.
While he wasn’t feasting on potatoes, hurling, or climbing the family tree, Jimmy also found time to experience Ireland’s typical tourist attractions—walking along the Cliffs of Moor, visiting Aran Island, and of course, kissing the Blarney Stone.
Not only did Donnellon’s study abroad experience introduce him to Irish film and literature, fish and chips and of course an authentic pub or two– it also allowed him to learn about his family’s history firsthand. His was an experience that’s not typically outlined in a study abroad syllabus.

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