November 2006 Reflection

Although my Master’s program got off to a slow start, it’s become intense in the last month. I’m doing the MA in Journalism at Dublin City University and I’ve spent the last several weeks scrambling to get radio stories and news articles finished – on women in construction, on the Irish parliament, and on a new court that’s being set up for drunk drivers. Now I’m working on a blog about legal issues in the entertainment industry as well as a radio story about police in Northern Ireland. Doing a journalism program here has been great because it has allowed me to meet lots of people and to learn a lot about Ireland’s politics, business and society.

My program is very practically oriented. We have a couple of research essays to do, but mostly we develop sources, come up with story ideas and produce either print or radio stories. I have several small assignments every week and one large assignment every other week. I’ve learned to use Adobe InDesign for page layout, recording equipment for my radio interviews and sound editing software to put those together.

I haven’t done too much traveling outside the country, but I have done some sightseeing and hiking around Dublin. On one of my first weekends here, I went to the Wicklow mountains and spent a day there. I’ve never seen a landscape quite like it, covered with tufts of grass, heather and large boulders. The biggest burst of sightseeing was in October when we had our Mitchell orientation. We had a visit to the Chester Beatty Library, a museum that exhibits printed works from around the world with a special focus on ancient religious texts. Among other texts, there was a fragment of the Gospel of John from 150 AD, which was amazing to see. A week ago, I went to Dublin’s Natural History Museum, which consists of four floors filled with stuffed bears, hogs, owls, goats, peacocks, etc.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most in the last couple months is a tradition of Friday night dinners that several of the Dublin-based Mitchells have developed. We’ve been gathering at Adar’s place at Trinity every Friday to cook and unwind. I signed up for podcasts of my favorite radio shows and I’ve been listening to them on the bus to and from Dublin. We have Thanksgiving dinner with all the Mitchells coming up, which I’m really looking forward to.

My life here has been really fast-paced, especially after two years off since college, but I’m enjoying being back in school and am looking forward to the rest of this semester. My brother will be coming to Ireland for a week in December, and it’ll be fun to show him some of the things I like so much here – the beautiful parks, the Guinness factory, and the rustic wood-paneled pubs.

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