Thursday, February 5, 2009

Libraries and a hoodie

It's been a little while since I've posted. I haven't noticed the time go by, really - one sign that I'm getting used to it here. The classes aren't exactly rhythmic - Monday is different from Tuesday is different from Wednesday, etc. etc. - but I'm falling into a quiet routine, which I find comforting.

I bought a bright pink UCC hoodie today! This week is something called Rag Week, and to be honest, I don't really know what that means. There was a notice in our apartment last weekend telling us the fines we would receive if caught egging buildings or vandalizing property, which is apparently part of the tradition of Rag Week... but I don't know what the actual point is. Anyway, my hoodie has the UCC crest on it ("Where Finbarr taught, let Munster learn"), the word "Rag," and a little logo on the sleeve reading "UCC Students' Union." Also, despite it being an extra small, it pretty much swallows me whole. Warm, though. And quite pink.

I had the misfortune of checking a book out of the library last week with a yellow sticker on the side. The book, entitled The Magic Flute, followed the lives of four Scottish boys growing up in the fifties, through their lives. Best friends in primary school (elementary school, to us Americans) their lives still went in four completely different directions into their twenties and thirties. It had no real conclusion to it, or moral lesson, or epiphany, or anything resembling a satisfying ending, but it was still a decent book. At any rate, the fact that it had a yellow sticker on the side meant that when I checked it out, it was due back a week later, and when I tried to renew it on its due date, I was curtly informed that I couldn't do that and either had to finish it that day, not turn it in and start incurring fines, or turn it in and wait for it to reappear on the shelf, at which time I could check it out again. Figure THAT one out. At any rate, I decided to spend a lot of time in the library that day, and ended up speed-reading half the book in about 3 hours. It was a little frustrating. I would have much preferred to take my time with the thing, but that yellow sticker must have meant it was very special. (Today, my library no-sticker pick was Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.)

Gaelic is starting to get more complicated. We're starting to conjugate verbs and count items. Irish has got to be the only language in which counting objects requires a lot of thought and memory. Really, the rule actually changes depending on what number you're on. You spell the noun differently depending on whether you're on 1, 2-6, or 7-10, bizarrely enough. But the class is a lot of fun, and I'm enjoying the learning experience. My teacher, Claire, is great, too.

That's all for now. Write later! :)

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