Tonight we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Irish Studies Program! We had a nice dinner and invited people who have been involved with this program over the years. There were about 20 Irish and American founders, current organizers, and professors (past and present) of this program at our dinner. We were able to talk to them and hear their part of the story. It was interesting to hear them talk about how the program was started. Originally, Vance Maloney wanted to start the program in Albania! But then this little thing called a Civil War broke out in that country and it didn't work out for them to go there. Somewhere along the way he decided Ireland might be a good location instead, and thus the beginning of the program.
But it was also crazy to think that we were representing 600+ other students who have come through the program in the past ten years. I know probably a dozen people who have been here, including girls who have lived on my floor. It's so crazy to think that all the things I am seeing and doing they have also experienced before me. Normally, you come back from a trip and everyone wants to hear your stories, but they can't really relate. Not so with the Irish Studies Program! This study abroad program has plenty of alum who I know love to talk about the country. Though we have all been here at different times, and our experiences aren't exactly the same, I am excited to talk to them all about the things I have loved about this country.