High and low culture

In the space of one episode I’ve become totally addicted to “Torchwood.” This isn’t even the regular series – it’s a five-part miniseries. Unfortunately I’m missing two nights now, and the BBC site won’t let me watch the episodes online for some reason. (Hmm, look what’s on Amazon…)

Work was much more exciting today. We had visitors from an American school, and I got to sit in on their meetings and tag along for the campus tour and meet with the UCC kids who are going to spend the year there. And later tonight, I get to go out to dinner with them. (Well, “get to” may not really be the right phrase – I’m sure I’ll be nervous and awkward the whole time, but I am determined to network the hell out of this visit.) I’m glad the visitors allowed me to be included, because I think it gave me a good look at what the real job will be like.

Oh, and I’m officially set to go on a field trip on Saturday! I’m going with one of the summer school classes to the Rock of Cashel, which is not so much a rock as a really cool castle – the seat of pre-Norman kings and the site of a conversion by St. Patrick etc. and so forth.

Speaking of Irish history, I learned today that I’ve been lied to most of my life. During the Gaelic revival of the 19th century, Irish historians decided that the Irish needed to identify with a group that wasn’t Normans or Anglo-Saxons (or Vikings, because they always get bad press), because they were looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the Anglo-Saxon/Norman/British conquerors. They decided that the Celts fit the bill, even though they were never really a very significant group here – the Vikings had much more influence. Apparently there are whole classes here dedicated to the “myth of Celticism” and how Irish identity has been shaped.

Here are some pictures from the last couple days! (I can’t believe I’ve only been here a week – it feels like it’s been ages.)

These are some of the sights on the way from my apartment to work and the city center.

The English Market:

Blarney Castle:

As if I didnt have enough to worry about.

As if I didn't have enough to worry about.

Note the strained and terrified smile. Oh, and the trenchcoat!

Note the strained and terrified smile. Oh, and the trenchcoat!

I didnt get to see much of the view, partly because I was too short and partly because I was TERRIFIED.

I didn't get to see much of the view, partly because I was too short and partly because I was TERRIFIED.

The castle grounds:

See the ledge in the lower right? Were standing over the witches kitchen.

See the ledge in the lower right? We're standing over the witches' kitchen.

And for future travelers…

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4 thoughts on “High and low culture

  1. Love your pictures! Now I want to go to Ireland and face certain doom at the hands of the Blarney Stone.

    I also feel lied to now that I know about “the myth of Celticism.” My world is a little shattered.

    • Thanks! I’m still processing the Celtic thing – I may try to track down a book about it while I’m here.

  2. Oh wow myth of celticism… thanks for enlightening us 🙂
    Your pictures are amazing! So green and castle and pastel houses!

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