Sep 18, 2012

Settling in

Hello, friends!  I'm writing to you this evening from a little niche I found in a corner of the library.  (By the way, nothing on the computer front has changed, but each day is a new day, right?)  Oh, and speaking of new developments, here's one: I'll be living in a different apartment by this time next week.  (There is, of course, a reason for this, but if you're interested in hearing the details, let's stick to a more private forum, like e-mail.)  My new address will be:

126 Gort na Coiribe
Headford Road
Galway, Ireland

In other news, friends, I think I'm finally beginning to get used to Galway.  To those of you who have been (and continue to be) sources of encouragement, reassurance, and prayer over the past three weeks: thank you, thank you, thank you.  I finally feel like I know my area well enough to get by...and better yet, like I've established a rhythm that works.  It helps, too, that campus life is now in full swing.  This is a blatant reminder to me that as much as I enjoy the flexibility of free time, I'm most comfortable when my days are structured and scheduled.

My classes are going well (that is, aside from the history thread of my ILC course...but I guess you can't win 'em all.)  Specifically, it’s a real relief to be in a science class.  The first week of Neurophysiology had me fooled into thinking it would be a breeze, especially since I just took a Cognitive Neuroscience course this past summer.  But last Friday, to my oh-so-nerdy delight, this was how Prof. R began the class:

“I hope you’re all ready, because this is an undergraduate class, but it’s medical school-level material from this point on.”

She then proceeded to lecture at a pretty healthy clip...which was a shock for sure, but my excitement overrode whatever nerves I had left.  You see, I’ve been waiting for years to learn at a med school pace.  Bring it on.

P.S. In my wanderings of downtown Galway, I've taken way more photos than would be practical to post all at once.  So as I remember to, I'll put up a few at a time:

I initially took this photo because the pub door was such a bright, inviting blue.  Turns out that there's more to the story: this is the only pub in Galway where it's mandatory that you speak Gaelic.
I found this wall in a poorer area of town, and couldn't help but stop to admire it (and the person who took the time to put up such a worthwhile reminder.)
Here's Eyre Square (the center of downtown Galway), after the sun's gone down and the party animals come out to play.
My first Bulmer's (a hard cider.  I was about to ask for a Coors Light that night, but when in Ireland...)  It was pleasantly sweet, and unexpectedly me crazy (and perhaps a bit inexperienced), but I still can't believe people here drink alcohol by the pint.
And lastly, before you conclude that all I'm doing with my days is going to pubs and clubs, check out this new friend I made on a late-afternoon walk beside the Corrib:

Have I mentioned that there's a river (with a running path and everything) right along the periphery of campus?
Given the fact that I was barely two feet away, I expected that my buddy here might charge (aren't swans supposed to be vicious?)  All he did, however, was preen for the camera...

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