FBA TRAVELS FROM ABROAD: SPENSER MITCHELL – Blog 3 – October 19, 2014

CATCHING UP

Cliffs of Moher 2 Cliffs of Moher 3 Cliffs of Moher Me Cliffs of Moher Ireland

For starters, I just want to say sorry I have been gone so long from the blog; a series of unfortunate events has kept me from really doing the blog to the best of my abilities so I figured I would hold off until I could catch my breath and try again. There is a lot to catch you up on. Let me try to remember what I last told you about and I will take it from there..

So, it pretty much seems like I haven’t really told you much about my trip. I was gone for way longer than I realized. Okay to bring you up to speed, I just finished my fourth week of school for my Masters. It’s getting close to crunch time; they have two grades here at Griffith College: 50% on one assignment and 50% on the final exam. Not really much budge room when it comes to doing well, and it certainly adds a lot of stress come assignment time. And to make it even more complicated, two of my assignments are group assignments, and the majority of them are due on the same week! So, aside from language barriers in my group, and late notice of the groups actually being formed, things are actually going pretty well in school. The classes are interesting and the various perspectives from the numerous countries truly intrigue me. In the time I was gone, my iPhone broke, I have eaten over 40 eggs a week, I got caught up with customs not letting my package into the country, and I went camping.

I am a man who gets the job done, especially when it comes to homework and school, but I know how to have a good time once business is handled. I’ve made sure to make the most of Dublin nightlife, whether that be in Swords far from the actual City Center, or out in Dublin with either my teammates or some awesome people I have met in school. The team can get a little crazy, but that makes them all the more fun to be around. A few of my friends from high school were doing a euro-tour of their own and their final destination was Ireland, so of course we linked up! I managed to give them a personal tour of the city (to the best of my ability) and try to help them feel at home for the week they were here. Now it pays off to have friends with connections in high places. One of the girls from back home had a connection with someone in Guinness and someone they met out here had a connection for Jameson. So, obviously we took VIP tours of both the storehouse and distillery. Even though I don’t drink, these two places were so interesting to go through, I highly recommend it. In Guinness, we received a connoisseur experience like you wouldn’t believe that was inside a hidden bar behind a hidden door. And then at the very top floor is the Gravity Bar, which I kid you not is THE best view of Dublin. The following day, as if those tours weren’t enough, we all got on a tour bus to the Cliffs of Moher. Getting there at 7am was rough, but completely worth it in the long run. We went to a monastery, a castle, a small town, the baby cliffs, and last but not least the Cliffs of Moher. The baby cliffs and the Cliffs of Moher were two different types of unbelievable. Both so beautiful, yet frightening in their own ways. As a thrill-seeker of course I had to step as close to the edge as possible (and even hang off it a time or two), but one gust of wind and I would have been gone, no doubt about it. No words or photos will ever justify how magnificent that view is. It is a must-see if you ever come to Ireland.

Now for the best part: the basketball. As I mentioned previously, the team went camping weeks ago. We played a pre-season match out in Cavan (I think I spelled that right), we won and then brought a combination of tents out to a lake and camped out for the night. Of course we found our way into the city to go to the infamous Club V before we could call it a night. Being one of the few sober ones, I was the designated driver. And for those of you who haven’t made the connection yet, they drive on the opposite side of the road and car (luckily this car was automatic, otherwise I would have had no chance!) Let’s just say what happens in Cavan, stays in Cavan. My Spanish teammate, the two other Americans, and I all went through a coaching certification so that we will be allowed to coach younger kids in the primary schools throughout the year, they actually made us participate in the childish-drills, which I absolutely loved! Truly felt like a kid again. The National Cup standings were decided right after that at the official launch of the men’s and women’s leagues in Ireland. All of this was such a cool experience as little kids all came up and got our autographs and photos were taken of us as well. We had our first game on October 4th. It was such an amazing feeling when that time came, and I actually started too. Couldn’t have been happier. We won by nearly 40 points to a team that we were technically considered an underdog against. Although they were the last placed seed last season, they were in the Premier league before; our team only just moved up this season. Definitely a huge win for the program, despite beating them in the pre-season as well. I did well, certainly have so much room for improvement, but I did manage to get a pretty good dunk in my first game so I can walk away a little happy knowing that!

I apologize for the lengthy blog, but I felt it essential that I cover all the ground I missed out on. Unfortunately when I took a break from the blog, a lot of stuff happened and should’ve been documented for not only you guys, but for myself. I promise to stay on top of it in coming weeks, and hopefully I will have a bunch of good photos and stories to share with you guys then. Until next time..

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