Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dublin explained...

My mom’s birthday was yesterday! She is 52. I really can’t believe it though. She is so young at heart, it’s like she’s still 17, just with a lot more life wisdom. I got to call her, which totally made my day. My teacher lets me use her “handy” or cell phone to call home occasionally; it’s so nice of her.

We went to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day!! It was ridiculously crowded and we learned that since we’re American, we couldn’t do online checking for RyanAir. On the way there one of the girls threw up on the plane and another one was sick, but we all made it in one piece. Our hotel was in Bray, about 45 minutes outside of Dublin. We had to take a really expensive taxi ride the first night because we got in so late and the buses and trains had stopped running.

But the next morning, it was all worth it! We watched the St. Patrick’s Day parade, saw more green than I had ever seen in my life, and trekked all over Dublin. I almost wish we were there on an insignificant weekend so we could actually see things. But it was still awesome to be in the city where the movement for Irish independence started.

We made the long way back to our little town and ate dinner at a nice little pizza place. We went to bed early, Dublin wore us out! The next morning we went down to the Irish Sea!! I stepped in, of course. It was gorgeous and sunny. I was jealous of all the Irish golfers out for a morning round. Once we got into Dublin, we walked to Kilmainham Prison. The prison was where the rebels of the 1916 Easter Rising were held before 15 of the 94 were shot. It was very moving. I felt like it was seeing the US’s Declaration of Independence. These men really gave the last full measure to remove themselves from British rule. Although the US took different means to gain their independence, I felt that it was a common struggle. The men who had signed the proclamation for Irish independence were all shot, as the signers of our declaration would have also been shot or hung if they were captured.

I was glad that two other girls in my group went with me. One loves castles and I think she was disappointed that we didn’t make it to Dublin Castle, but after going to the prison she was really glad we had gone and said that she really learned a lot. Obviously I didn’t teach her anything at the prison, but I still feel good as a history teacher to advocate for my subject matter! Haha. Yes, there is history in the castle, but not the same type of history that is at the prison. The prison was also used to shoot the original Italian Job, which I didn’t know until we got there.
These men gave up their lives and their families for Irish independence. Plunkett, one of the fifteen shot; married just four hours before he was executed. His new wife’s brother was also one of the rebels shot, definitely a heartbreaking addition to the story. I love historical sites and when I retire from teaching I would love to give tours at a site, or as a summer job!!

No comments: