I have to admit, it was a little tough coming back to the cold and the drizzle after spending Christmas break in the Cayman Islands! But after a day mourning the loss of summer weather, I consoled myself with planning my trips for the rest of the year. Itunes—especially the Travel Channel’s Passport to Europe—has been really helpful. It inspired me to learn about cities I never would have thought to travel to—Brussels, Berlin, Lisbon… one of the best things about living in Ireland is the cheap cost of plane tickets and the close proximity to dozens of fabulous countries and cities. And the thousand dollar travel stipend really helps out with costs! I know I am so lucky to be able to visit all of these amazing places just a year out of college.Before I went home for Christmas, I spent a week in Paris, which was absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking lights.
I’m also really excited about starting a new term. One thing I love about Trinity is the trimester system—terms are only 2 months each, with a month break in between (December and March), and there are no classes for Masters students in the third term—leaving a lot of time to travel, write, and work on my thesis/novel, without getting drained by months and months of coursework at a time. This term I’m taking a course on the Irish novel, which has been incredibly interesting. It has introduced me to some amazing books, like Mary Morrissey’s Mother of Pearl. We’ve also been introduced to a new Writer Fellow, Anne Haverty, who is down-to-earth and a great teacher.
The new year also brings the responsibility of heading up Trinity’s Creative Writing anthology. I’m especially excited about this, since it will actually be sold in bookstores throughout Ireland! We are thinking of doing a book launch in Belfast and possibly Galway, in addition to Dublin. As the months go by, I am becoming better and better friends with the people in my classes. It has been very interesting to see the diversity and different points of view a creative writing program can elicit.
I’m also looking forward to seeing more of the Mitchell Scholars this year, especially Friday night dinners in Dublin! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make our trip to Belfast in March, as I’d booked a 4-week tour around Spain and Italy back in October. So I’m sad that I won’t get to see everybody all together probably until May. So that’s what my next few months are looking like—enjoying Dublin, traveling a lot, working on my novel and compiling the anthology. It’s going to be a busy few months! In March I find out where I will be going to graduate school next year, so I’m crossing my fingers!