Studying Abroad: the Dream, Reality & Value

> “ABROAD” <

When I received my acceptance letter from the University College Cork in October of last year, the excessive Googling of Irish weather, Irish fashion, Irish food, Irish EVERYTHING began. I’d say goodbye to my family, friends, 3G data usage, and Jimmy John’s for FOUR SOLID MONTHS to become a student at an Irish university. After stuffing a rain jacket, waterproof boots, shamrock earrings, and 5 scarves into my suitcase along with reading up on some Irish slang, I was “prepared” for my adventure in Ireland.

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The Love of Writing


For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to write lists. To-do lists, grocery lists, book lists, bucket lists, pros vs. cons lists, and the like. I don’t write these lists because I need to remember what it is I’m writing – I write them because I simply need to write.

During my senior year of high school, I had to write a research paper about a single word. At first I thought it was such a pointless task. How could an entire paper about just one word be at all possible? My English teacher explained that the idea behind this paper was to get us thinking about how interesting a word’s history could be. Where did it come from? Does it have more than one definition? Has its meaning changed? Was it invented or borrowed from another language? How long has it been around? I chose the word “pearl” and discovered that it meant “eye” at one point in time. Other students chose words like “act” and “battle,” focusing on the versatility of the word as both a noun and a verb.

For me, “writing” is such a word.

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A Man Stopped Me on the Street

> “PRETTY” <

Thursday is my favorite day of the week. Wednesday is a close second this semester because I don’t have any classes. Usually I just sleep in, buy an overpriced latte from a nearby cafe, perhaps see a new movie, and tackle some reading.

Today, I planned to do exactly that. My Introduction to Irish History final, which I took the night before, didn’t go as well as I hoped it would (HOW CAN THE TEST NOT COVER THE POTATO FAMINE WHEN THAT WAS WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT 60% OF THE TIME?!), so I was in dire need of a stress-free day.

I left the house at high noon to search for a black dress to wear at Friday night’s choral concert along with a new pair of black tights. The sky was still gray from the morning’s rain, so I wore my trusty Hunter boots and rain coat in case such weather would return. I didn’t brush my hair, wear any make up, or notice the coffee stain on my khakis. But still, a man stopped me on the street.

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10 Reasons to Love Bruce Springsteen

> “THE BOSS” <

I’ve always liked Bruce Springsteen, but it wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I started to listen to his music seriously. Everyone had their own way of dealing with the inherent drama and stress of their teenage years, and mine was Bruce. There was just something about putting headphones on, closing my eyes and feeling the power behind his voice that made me feel like the world wasn’t such a bad place. He just has that effect on people.

Although the reasons are virtually endless and different for every fan, here are my 10 Reasons to Love Bruce Springsteen. ☺ Continue reading

What’s Ska Music Anyway?

> “Ska” <

If you were involved in a high school pep band, you’re most-likely familiar with Europe’s Final Countdown, the Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black, and Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4. What about Reel Big Fish’s Sell Out or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ Impression That I Get? If so…


Okay… but what is it exactly?

“Ska” is a genre of music that is best described as jazz and reggae music’s hip, obnoxious cousin from 1960s Jamaica. Walking bass lines, accented upbeats, and a horn section are typical characteristics of the genre. There are three distinct periods, which include Jamaican ska, 2-tone, and third wave. The main differences between each period are simply the addition of instruments, lyrical content, and location.

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What’s in a Name?

> “Tambourine Fish” <

If you’re a fisherman, you’re probably scratching your head trying to remember if you’ve ever heard of this aquatic being. If you’re a musician, you’re probably wondering if it’s some sort of widget for the instrument. If you’re just curious, you’re probably going to continue reading.

It all started with a birthday. I *heavily* implied to my then-friend, now-boyfriend Anthony that I was going to get him three darling little goldfish for his 19th birthday, which happened to fall on Super [Fish?-]Bowl Sunday last year. We decided that Edward (named after Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes) would be a white fish, Cat would be an orange fish, and her bright blue twin would be Stevens (clearly a tribute to Cat Stevens). I also promised to make him a marble cake so that his first birthday “away from home” didn’t feel so nostalgic. However, sometimes things don’t exactly go according to plan… Continue reading