I made my presentation on the sense of responsibility that the Irish have in all areas of their lives. I was originally going to focus on nutrition, since that is what some of my self-guided blogs focused on the most, but I had already chosen to do that for my final in the spring semester and I really didn't want to redo that. I started by doing little mini topics that weren't terribly connected like food quality, portion sizes, milk processing, and recycling and then brought it all together with the responsibility of self and towards others that is apparent in all of these areas.
The presentations in all were a great success. Each person presented on different areas of Irish culture that hit home most with them, giving a nice diversity to the discussions. Marie really seeing all of the architecture as we went to all of the historic sites, some ancient and some fairly recent. Her pictures she had were of different buildings that we had seen throughout the travels and discussed the period that they were built in as well as the themes present in each of them. Peter focused more on the people aspect. He had always heard the quote that the Irish cannot be psychoanalyzed due to their unwillingness to discuss unfortunate matters. So he looked more into the rates of specific psychological disorders such as PTSD and depression with rates for all of them during the Troubles. Surprisingly, the rates for these disorders were incredibly low. He concluded that it was due to the coming together of the community in order to carry through these hard times, allowing for a better support system. However after the Troubles ended, these rates skyrocketed from the breakdown of the support. Suzie who spoke two languages: Korean and English, wanted to look at the languages that were around the Irish area. She looked at the several types of Gaelic that exists in Ireland and the UK area, as well as looking back at the ancient Ogams writing that were on large stones around the landscape. Adam, who was following the elections all throughout trip, wanted to look at the politics side of the Irish. He looked at the how the Irish how seen the UK coming into their land, the political struggles that exist now due to the tension, and how his perceptions about each side changed. Kevie talked about the strength of the Irish, how through all of their struggles and hardship they still persevered. The landscape was harsh, their land was invaded, and they never seemed to catch a break but they held strong. Josh and Jazmin chose to discuss the civil rights movement as it compared to the Irish's plight, but on different topics. Josh chose the happier side of what the Irish did to advance themselves through the marches. Jazmin took the darker side by looking at how both sides compared in the ways that they were discriminated against (e.g. the beatings).
There was so much diversity in the presentations that it gave a good spectrum to look at Ireland from. The night continued with good food and great friends but eventually came to an end. Tomorrow we will all be departing on our separate ways, some to other countries, some back home. Hopefully I continue to use blogging as a medium to document my life and travels, who knows. Stay tuned.