Lily Elbaum | Edinburgh, Scotland | Post 6

Lily Elbaum | Edinburgh, Scotland | Post 6

It’s almost the end of February and I don’t where the time is going. At the University of Edinburgh, I’m lucky because my classes end on April 3rd – how crazy is that? But it also means I have a ton of papers and presentations to do in a very short amount of time. I think that’s part of the reason we have a week off, for no particular reason, in the middle of February. Like the calm before the storm….

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Hannah Snyder-Samuelson | Copenhagen, Denmark | Post 4

Hannah Snyder-Samuelson | Copenhagen, Denmark | Post 4

It wasn’t really until I was forced to rest in the hospital last weekend as I recovered from getting my appendix out that I stopped to think about what a wild ride this semester has been so far. As I lay semi-asleep in that mercifully silent hospital room, reveling in the thought that I wouldn’t have to pay a dime for the entire operation and eternally grateful that my doctors and nurses spoke such flawless English, I was dumbfounded to…

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Hannah Snyder-Samuelson | Sligo, Ireland | Post 3

Hannah Snyder-Samuelson | Sligo, Ireland | Post 3

It’s almost 8:00 on Monday night, and I’m writing this from a 2nd grade classroom in an elementary school just outside of Sligo, Ireland. I’m having one of those fascinating moments in which you wonder how many chance occurrences it took to lead you to this particular time and place. (I’ve been having quite a lot of those this semester.) This moment, at least, is a result of my coming here with the farmer that I’m volunteering with during my…

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Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 3

Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 3

Daylight savings, for me, has had the curious effect of compressing time. In the last few weeks, the hours of sunlight in Ireland have shrunk, so that I wake up to blueish-gray dawn, and leave the community school in the pinkish-purple of dusk. Time itself seems to be slipping away faster than usual, too; recently it occurred to me that I have less than four weeks left in Ireland, and this came as a genuine shock. When I relayed this…

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Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 2

Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 2

A few weeks ago, I decided to start a creative writing group at the secondary school where I’m teaching for a semester. The decision was born in part out of the realization that, compared to the students at my high school, kids here have little opportunity to express themselves creatively. I wanted to help fix that. Five girls showed up in the library for our first session; I knew a few of them already. We started off the meeting with a…

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Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 1

Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 1

This past Wednesday marked the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Whether you’re a New Yorker or not, whether you lost a community or family member or not, I’m certain that that day had a huge impact on many of your lives. For me, spending September 11, 2013 teaching in Clifden, Ireland was an eye-opening experience that inspired a lot of reflection. I spent the first two periods of the day sitting in on a…

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