As midterms approach, I feel that I should reflect on my course work thus far. I am thoroughly enjoying the classes I am enrolled in. One class in particular, The Shadows that We Cast, has a particularly warm place in my heart. I have always enjoyed reading short stories and writing my own—this class was made for me because it is all about the Irish short story. We’ve read some very famous works like James Joyce’s Dubliners and Frank O’Connor’s “Guests of the Nation.” Additionally, we have been doing some writing on our own as part of the course work. Our professor for the class is absolutely wonderful! I always find that classes are much more enjoyable if the instructor is passionate about his or her subject; I can tell that my professor for this particular class is truly in love with writing and the Irish short story. Last week, we read “Guests of the Nation,” and took a look at how the Irish War of Independence from Great Britain affected the people of Ireland. It also paralleled what we had been discussing in our other classes about the Northern Irish Troubles, because the Irish War of Independence lead into the start of the Troubles.
A few nights ago, my professor for the short story class decided to show a movie that was set during the time of the war. The film is titled “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” starring Cillian Murphy. It is truly an amazing film that illustrates the will and strength of the Irish people. The harsh reality of war and torture was explicitly present, and I found myself turning away and cringing at times. I now have images to pair with readings I’ve done in other classes. I am truly appreciative of my professor who organizes these movie events, because it is great exposure to another area of the Arts that deepen my knowledge and love for Ireland. I highly recommend for anyone to pick up “The Wind that Shakes the Barley” the next time you’re renting a movie. Do a little reading about the War of Independence before you watch it so you don’t get lost. I would also recommend watching with subtitles because it can be difficult to understand the accents of the actors. After being here for well over a month, I feel that I am becoming more connected with my surroundings and with the Irish people. It’s a unique experience to feel the pain and suffering of another country’s history, but it’s also incredibly rewarding to understand the strength of the Irish! They are truly an amazing people, and I am in love with Ireland.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Emily and I am currently a junior at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL, and I am studying psychology. I hope to attend law school someday and work with children and families. In my spare time, I enjoy playing guitar, watching reruns of “Friends,” and spending time with my friends and family. I have a passion for travel and good food, so this experience in Dublin is absolutely incredible! Check out my blog and feel free to leave comments or message me!</span></p>