This Tuesday, I had my last lab out at UCD’s Lyon’s Research Farm. The lab covered anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and controlled breeding in farm animals. It was the coolest lab I’ve ever done. We learned how to collect oocytes from a female, how to flush her and collect embryos, and how to ultrasound. Then, we each dissected a pregnant ewe’s reproductive tract. (Each animal was culled for various reasons that were not for research, they just happened to be pregnant and the remains were donated for students like me to learn from!) It was amazing to open up the uterus and see the developing fetus inside. Everyone had varying stages of pregnancy and we had to age the fetus, weigh it, and sex it. Mine was too young (48 days) to sex it, but you could see the bones started to form and it’s eyes. It is the coolest thing when you get to apply what you are learning in the classroom and when you get hands on learning experience alongside lecture notes. (No photography was allowed, but I’m sure you wouldn’t want to see it anyways!)
Tuesday night, Conner and I attended a candlelight vigil for the terrorist attacks put on by many French students attending UCD, their student union, and the French society. It was a beautiful tribute as one student from Paris talked about her feelings on the attack, another student sang Imagine, and we stood in unison for a moment of silence for those lost. It reminds me that with all the bad, there is still so many good people and good things that can come from tragedy.
Paul, Conner, and I went out to dinner at The Bernard Shaw afterwards. We ordered and ate pizza on a bus. (You’ll have to look up pictures to understand because I didn’t take any, but it was a really cool place!) Then we walked down Grafton Street to check out all of the Christmas decorations. I love Christmas and all the lights that come with it! Dublin is beautifully lit and getting me excited for the holiday season.
Wednesday I went to my favorite coffee shop (Third Space at the Y) in Dublin and worked on homework for the afternoon before heading back to UCD. I got a run in before heading to lecture from 6-8 for Irish Studies where we learned about Irish art over the centuries and about sex and society in modern Ireland. It was so interesting to learn about the history here and compare it to what has happened and is happening in the U.S. This week was the first same sex marriage in Ireland. This was a big deal and is a big topic, just like it has been back home. It’s cool to see the world changing and it not always being in a negative way!
Yesterday, I learned more about poultry production in my non-ruminant class and then went to see a guest lecturer for my agribusiness strategy course. He emphasized how important it is to get international experience, which was feeding in to the desire I’ve had to work abroad after school! (We will just see where the wind takes me!)
Last night, my roommates and I all went out to William Searson’s for drinks to celebrate Fiona’s accomplishment. She has worked hard all semester studying and preparing for an English Certificate exam, and she passed it! I’m so proud of her and excited to see where it will take her in the future. We spent a couple hours just talking over drinks in this Christmas lit bar, and I realized how lucky I am to have some of the most down to earth roommates. I can’t believe I only have a month left with all of them here in Dublin.
Today, I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop again after having had my chai latte with a double shot of espresso and my favorite breakfast of savory French toast with avocado, egg, and bacon. I’m studying for my exams next week since tomorrow I have plans for the day (that I will share with you all afterwards)!
Continuing to make the most of everything while I’m here while also focusing on my school work (it’s a hard balance, but I’m getting the hang of it :) )!