Look at all that nature.
Feel free to pay me for allowing you to view
these lovely professional-quality photographs.
crazy tree and bird
clouds turning sinister
oh hey, cows
uh, the clouds are actually becoming a problem
Unfortunately, the weekend ended (as most weekends do) and I had to endure the misery that the academic world calls midterm week. The Irish school system is completely different from everything I'm used to at home and my midterms were all worth 50% of my grade, so it was not a great time in my life. I didn't sleep a ton and I was probably a lot more concerned than necessary about failing by not meeting the different Irish expectations, but the good news is that midterms ended and I am still alive and I actually might have done respectably well. I would add some pictures of my midterms here, but photographing your tests is highly discouraged in Ireland. I am deeply sorry.
The horror of midterms also brought me to the sudden realization that my time in Ireland is slightly more than halfway done. As unbelievable and annoying as that fact is, it has motivated me to pack the remainder of my time--which is about six weeks, if anyone was wondering--with a ton of Irish experiences. Thus, today I went to the Cork City Gaol with my friend Michelle and it was SO COOL. I'd seen signs for it and really wanted to go, but whenever I mentioned the prospect of going to a historical jail several times before people shot me down for some reason. Anyway, it was used as a jail from 1824 to 1923, but now it's one of Cork's biggest tourist attractions because it's a super awesome historical site. I completely understand why it's so popular because it was probably one of the most unique things I've done here. The original cells and beds and everything are intact, but they added wax figures in absolutely hilarious poses to represent actual prisoners. A lot of people were in for a month or so for public intoxication (ah, Ireland) but there were some sadder cases, like a 9-year-old boy who was in for the seventh time in his life for stealing some bread. Especially during the Famine (around 1845-1852), a lot of people were so desperate for consistent food and a roof over their heads that they'd break the law on purpose because life in jail was much better than life outside for them. A lot of famous Irish Republicans were also imprisoned there while Ireland was still under British rule, so it was really cool to see a concrete bit of that part of Ireland's history since we've talked about it in almost all of my classes. My favorite part of the experience was this one cell that had a bunch of original graffiti (protected from foolish people by a layer of glass), both words and drawings, obviously done by prisoners. Most of them just said a person's name and a place (usually County Cork), but a lot of them were written by the Irish Republicans who stayed there so they were extra historical. I looked really hard to see if anyone had tallied up the days they spent in jail, but apparently that's not a thing people do in real life.
This is not the jail. This is just Cork being pretty.
Turrets never get old.
Isn't this the funniest thing you've ever seen?!?
This guy was disturbingly lifelike from a distance.
It's really not the swankiest place in the world.
Irish prisoners are really good at art.
This person was a little less good at art,
but the writing is still cool.
Leave it to Ireland to make jail look beautiful.
I mean, doesn't it look kind of like a castle
from the outside? It's a little misleading.