This week presented me a great opportunity to visit a city I had always hoped I would be able to, and to present on my Fulbright inquiry project and the justice to history approach. I have been in Dublin for the past five days presenting at the Ireland International Conference on Education and touring the sites of a city rich in history. As I get ready to return to London tomorrow, I felt a few words were warranted while things were fresh in my mind.
Concerning the conference, I had a great time with some incredible scholars, all of whom are passionate about their research. I attended sessions on inclusive education that highlighted things such as cyberbullying, dyslexia, and religious education while enjoying some side conversations over tea and coffee. I was blessed to not only present on the justice to history approach and Ali enquiry, but was thrilled to be asked to chair one of the sessions on inclusivity. Although the session slot was the dreaded last one of the conference, it was well-attending with the audience asking great questions after each paper. I am coming away from the experience even more confident that there are scholars out there who care as passionately about equality of educational opportunity and the importance of ensuring this is provided everyone.
Although the conference was great, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Dublin spent sightseeing with family who came along with me. As Fitzgerald’s, it was only natural we eventually gravitate to the country from where members of my family came so long ago (and eat in a pub of the same name). And Dublin was the perfect place to spend this time together. As a fan of Irish folk music, it was not only thrilling to hear the songs I have come to know and love sung live in the various pubs we visited for dinner, but was as much to walk along Raglan Road or through St. Stephen’s Green and hear the sweet melodies in my head of these same songs. To walk through the General Post Office where James Connolly, Padraig Pearse, and others gave so much in the cause of liberty and freedom for Ireland was humbling to say the least. To witness the beauty of the illumination in the Book of Kels and to tour Trinity College – this truly has been an experience I will remember forever.
But I must be honest – I miss London and look forward to my return. With some great opportunities and events coming up in the next two months (sadly, my last two here), I can’t be anything but excited. Until next time, Cheers…or should I say, Slainte!